Foodie Friday: Super local! Super organic!

Eating locally/organically is a huge trend in North America right now. It has even hit my home city of Calgary, which is saying something, because A) Our growing season lasts for about 2 weeks and B) many Calgarians consider “redneck” to be the ultimate compliment. However, grow it has, and my mother, the original hippy/granola-girl is no longer alone in her obsession with all things home grown. I think this trend is generally a good thing – nothing wrong with using fewer chemicals and resources. The downside to the “locavore”/organic movement is how darned sanctimonious it often is.* Like, “lips that touch pesticides will never touch mine.” I  personally alternate between being a self-righteous organic foodie and wanting to puke a little.

These lips are touching doughnuts.

With this in the back of my mind, I was intrigued by my new neighbourhood’s food scene. It is as local as any West Coast tree-hugger’s kelp bed, without the moralizing. “Local and organic,” however, means something a little different here than it does in North America…

Starting my own kelp bed in my apartment’s pool

Exhibit A: The local fish and meat scene

It begins just outside our apartment courtyard, where the local welding shop produces tasty rabbit meat (ok, I have no idea if this bunny was destined for a bowl or pet-dom, but I’m guessing the former).

So soft. So tender.

One of the ladies at the shop was so excited by my amateur photography that she wanted me to take a photo of her cat. Pretty sure she didn’t realize the real purpose of the photo shoot…

Nothing like a big bowl of Pad Cat

Stroll a little farther down the road, and you hit the local khlong (canal), which is essentially the lifeblood chugging through the clogged artery of this neighbourhood. This is where most of the “sea”food in the neighbourhood is caught.


Continue walking along the khlong pathway, and you’ll come to an organic pork farm. I couldn’t get a good picture of the squealing piglets without blatantly trespassing, but they looked like they were having a grand time rummaging through piles of scraps and garbage.

All that fresh air and garbage makes for great pork

There are also a variety of good-natured ganders pit-pat-waddle-patting around in the muck.

Is it just me, or are ducks just so good natured?

Walk through the market and turn the corner, and you’ll come to the organic chicken farm. This is a critical operation, because deep-fried clucker is the cornerstone of Todd’s teacher-buddies’ diet.

If you squint really hard, the photo almost looks like it’s in focus

Should you wish to sample any of these meat products, visit the Samut Prakan night market:

Once again, the duck necks’n’bits

Or hunker down at a local restaurant:

Our favourite pork noodle joint

And there you have the Thai version of local’n’organic meat. Knowing where my food comes from fills me with a complex mixture of emotions, but “sanctimonious” and “hungry” are not among them.

* No, ma. Not you.

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