Before today, I always assumed that sugar was absolutely impossible to buy locally, and for the most part I am right. No sugar cane here. However, the U.S. is a major player in the sugar market and not just as a consumer. We produce sugar cane derived sugar out of Florida. During my bits of research I also discovered the existence of sugar beets and how it is also a source of sugar. Texas happens to be a producer of the stuff too. Huh.
According to Google:
- 799 miles = distance between Dallas, TX and Denver, CO.
- 1867 miles = distance between Orlando, FL and Denver, CO.
That's a difference of 1068 miles. On a car that gets 30 miles to the gallon (and I know I'm being generous here), that is 35.6 gallons of gas. If we go by $2.75 per gallon, that's $97.90. For as much sugar as you can stuff into a 2009 Subaru Outback.
What about molasses? Comes from cane sugar and sugar beets, for the most part. But I think I can get around the whole molasses thing by substituting in maple syrup or honey. Not sure if that's the same though.
What is a gingerbread cookie without that unmistakable molasses hint?
Why does it even matter to me?
This is the crux of it all, and I'm glad I'm sharing this with all of you because maybe some of you can offer up something I just can't think of right now. Maybe my gingerbread cookie are your flour tortillas or bananas or figs or -insert food here that isn't grown anywhere near you but you can't imagine living without- .
So I ask again: What is enough? What is enough for me to look at my practices and say, "Yes, this is practical and economical and it isn't taking a toll on what I consider a great quality of life."
Or maybe I should stop thinking so much about the particulars of the thing and just sit back and enjoy the adventure of it all, the sense of discovery in my own backyard. Then, before I know it, I'll stand up amidst the sustainable chaos in my culinary life and go, "Oh. So *that's* enough."
Hrm. Now I want a gingerbread cookie. Curses!