Today, I have no news, science, or advice to share. All I want to do is rave about the sustainable paradise I’ve been in these last two weeks, so pardon this post if you don’t like reading personal blogs.
I’ve been living with a German couple, longtime family friends, for the last couple of weeks in a small village near Frankfurt. Don’t let the word ‘village’ fool you: it’s not a rustic, technology-barren settlement of self-reliant farmers. It’s just one of several small, suburb-type towns peppering the Hesse countryside. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, with vast crop fields and pastures surrounding the towns and the highway stretches between them. Everything is quaint and simple but not lacking modern luxuries like gyms, convenience stores, restaurants, etc. The best part, though, is the food.
My hosts are all about sustainable and healthy food. Their garden is currently full of tomatoes, blackberries, currants, apples, and pears, and I can tell from their massive supply of homemade preserves and jams that they grow many other fruits throughout the year as well. They store most of their food in the refrigerator and freezer to extend its shelf life, and they buy bread in just the right quantities so that they can keep the loaf at room temperature and still finish it before it starts molding. My host-dad also boasts about how much locally-produced food he can buy at the store, namely honey and cheese, and insists on only buying meat or fish that is certified ‘bio’ – organic. He even shares my aversion to added sugars! Instead of buying sugary granola mixes and flavored yogurts, we make our breakfasts using unsweetened bio yogurt and mixing spelt, flaxseeds, chopped nuts, homegrown fruit, and other flavorful additions like coconut shavings. Oh, and anything inedible is composted, not thrown in the garbage.
Yes, this is the life I want! Buying and eating locally and organically as much as possible, minimizing processed food in my diet, and preventing waste. My hosts don’t eat nose to tail, but they don’t eat that much meat, either, and at least that which they do eat is sustainably raised. This has been a wonderful way to conclude my summer and segue into my next adventure: being in Spain for the semester!
I’ll make sure not to neglect my blog duties, no worries.