Here in Arcata, we have an amazing farmer’s market, access to a wide variety of foods produced within 100 miles, and lots of localvore enthusiasm. That being said, when one sees cheap, organic, fair trade, red peppers from Mexico, one is uncontrollable.

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Recently, the produce from Mexico, at the co-op, features a sticker that indicates that it is a fairly traded product.

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The discount rack is, normally populated with foreign and domestic produce. I guess that means they are charging a responsible amount for food at full retail and that it is too expensive to be purchased by consumers often. Bananas, I only buy if they’re on the discount rack (and it seems to be “discount banana season” here) and recently, I’ve purchased a few things, like cucumbers, hot peppers, a zucchini (I always buy avocados) produced in Mexico because I love the variety I can add to my staunch diet of Humboldt produce. I hope to still buy foreign produce in the future, thus, I use my economic powers to purchase conscientiously. I make an impact. You do too, with every cent you spend.

It is important, to me, that buying from far away lands be done conservatively and right. I want to enjoy fruits, leaves, and roots from all over the world but I can’t see how they can all become commodities and be sustainable at the same time. The crux of the localvore movement is to source commodities from within a short distance (within ~100mi.). This practice contributes to a robust and highly specialized import/export economy wherein, producers, farmers, manufacturers can afford to sell to their own communities, set high humanitarian working conditions, and practice responsible evironmental protocol. I’ve not made time to research the specifics of the fair trade standards that these stickers represent. I am currently relying on the co-op’s buying standards. I hope when I do get around to looking into it, I will find that they are harmonious with mine.

Today, for Comida Corrida, I’m featuring the three kinds of produce I scored in the discount rack: Red Bell Pepper, Collard Greens, and Avocados. I didn’t see discounted avocados coming! What a deal!

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Red Bell Peppers stuffed with millet, wild rice, oyster mushrooms (Mycality), onion, collard greens, fresh oregano, and red lentils (which cook down to a soup). Baked to tenderness and then baked to crisp a bit.

Collard leaves wrapped around many avocado slices, grapefruit tamarind turmeric chutney, and toasted sesame seeds.

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