When is local not local?
I haven’t bought tomatoes during the winter months for awhile now – they don’t really fit with the goal of local, seasonal eating, and they tend not to taste as good as the ones you get in the summer. But I have to admit that I’ve been tempted on occasion to buy a package of “BC Hot House” tomatoes to satisfy that mid-winter craving. There are a lot of vegetables grown in greenhouses here in British Columbia (namely cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes) – they keep us in fresh veggies when it’s too cold to grow them outside. I was thinking recently that there wouldn’t be much harm in eating these tomatoes in the winter, because they were at least coming from a local grower, in season or not. So imagine my surprise when I came across an article the other day pointing out that BC Hot House actually imports their tomatoes from Mexico in the winter rather than growing them in their local green houses. The reason for this is apparently that the conditions aren’t good enough in Canada to grow tomatoes in the winter. Really? What a shocker. I find it interesting that they’re still calling them “BC” tomatoes, though. More than a little misleading, I would say.
If you’d like to read the full article, click here.