In an effort to identify what regional local foods are here in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, I’m going to keep this post of a running list of things that are certainly regional, and things that certainly are not. My criteria will be: is it possible to, under the wrong circumstances, hit it with my car. Within the proximity of the city, clearly. Seems ridiculous, I agree, but for 4 years has served me well to quickly get to the answer I’m looking for. In many cases, I admit, it would require getting through a fence first.
Things I could feasibly hit with my car
Animal: honey via bees, white-tailed deer, mule deer, porcupine, muskrat, moose, elk, rabbit, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, llamas, alpaca, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, horses, coyote, wolf, lynx, gopher, squirrel, beaver, fox, eggs. A longer drive: pronghorn [antelope], bear. With some difficulty: northern pike, walleye, perch. Added: bison
Plant: canola, wheat, barley, flax, alfalfa, corn, oats, hay, peas [Canada goose favorite], saskatoons, strawberries, raspberries, apple, pear, evans cherries, currants, high-bush cranberry, dandelion, lamb’s quarter, chick weed, cat tail, wild mints, wild mushrooms, standard garden veg, etc.
Things I totally could not hit with my car
Animal: Muscox, polar bear, caribou, cougar, grizzly, mountain goats or sheep, crocodile, any ocean creature, anything from Africa, Asia, South America, Antarctica, Australia, or the Middle East, unless I somehow got my car in to the zoo.
Plant: Bananas, coffee, cacao, olive trees, sugar cane, vinifera grapes, prickly pear, lemon, orange, lime, fig, peach, black pepper, bay, maple [I stand corrected], passionfruit, guava, papaya, mango, star fruit, watermelon, cantelope, honeydew melon, coconut, vanilla.
Over time this list has stopped me to think about things as fundamental as my use of oil [formerly olive, now canola], sweetner [leaning way harder on honey], and even my morning coffee. Does eating local matter that much. I don’t know, does it?
If you have some ideas to add to this ongoing list, or a particular item to debate, weigh in in the comments.