Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Great Find at Whole Foods

Whole Foods has made great efforts in the last several years to sell more local food, especially during the growing season.

Still, I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when I saw organic scallions there that looked like scallions I’d pick from my garden or buy at a farmers’ market. The roots hadn’t been trimmed and the green tops were still complete. From top to bottom, some of the scallions were more than two feet long.

The sign above the scallions identified their source as California, but there is no way they would be shipped cross country in such a state. My guess is that they were from a smaller producer from Long Island, upstate New York or New Jersey. I will call Whole Foods today to find out their origin.

I then went to a different market and bought organic scallions from California; the difference (see photo) is obvious. The shorter scallions are from an organic behemoth that saves shipping space and costs by trimming roots and tops.

While a couple inches of scallion greens may seem unimportant, there was actually a marked difference in aroma and flavor between the two bunches of scallions. The (presumably) local scallions, which journeyed a shorter distance to the store and probably were pulled from the ground more recently, were miles better than their well-traveled West Coast cousins.

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