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Category : Not Available?, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Photo of Sugar, Salt and Pepper - Not Available LocallySome common ingredients are not produced locally. If you can’t find it, make it, find a satisfactory substitute, or simply live without it, what’s a conscientious locavore to do?

A very basic example is salt and pepper. Neither salt nor black pepper is produced in Whatcom County.

It would be possible to make local sea salt by dehydrating seawater. However, evaporation would take forever in our cool Northwest climate. Boiling off the water would take many hours, perhaps even days–not exactly an efficient use of energy for the small amount of salt left in the bottom of the pot.

Similarly, peppercorns, as far as I know, can’t be grown in our climate at all. However, in many cases, jalepenos or other types of local peppers could be added to a dish as a substitute for flavor.

So far I’ve been able to live without black pepper, but salt is another matter.

Most definitions of locavore allow for a few exceptions, usually about three, for foods not produced locally which you might consider a necessity. Some people choose to keep coffee in their pantry, while others don’t want to live without chocolate. For me, salt is definitely on my exception list. I don’t need much, but some foods like eggs or potatoes simply beg for salt, in my opinion.

Let your conscience be your guide. 🙂

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