eat local

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Visit Pro Chef 360Okay everyone, I am featuring a guest post, the talented Chef Matthew from Pro Chef 360, a blog created and maintained by the culinary minded.

I had asked him to talk about how to get good produce during the winter and if South America was a good option.  Here is what he said:

It is particularly difficult to get hold of decent fruits during the winter.  Fortunately, South American fruits are seemingly filling the void during the cold months of winter.  These are the products from Mexico, Chile, Belize and Honduras.  For years, they have been satiating the stomach of US customers during winter.

It is now fairly common to find Christmas shopper lining up in supermarkets decked in their winter clothes busily selecting and buying summer fruits like grapes, raspberries and blueberries.  These are the produce of South American countries.  These fruits are no longer just seasonal because people can now have access to these fruits the whole year through.  People can now satisfy their palates with clementines even during winter.

South American Fruit Market Taking Off

Over the past decade the South American fruit market has risen steadily.  There are many factors that can be attributed to this.  The primary reason, however, lies on the fact that the consumer market wants to have their fruits all year round.  Over the past decade, exports of Latin American fruits have risen considerably.  Millions of tons of fruits are exported to various foreign countries experiencing fruit void due to the winter season.  Accordingly, over a billion dollars are expended to South American fruit and produce exports.

Other factors that helped in the growth of South American fruit export include fast and easy transportation, improvement in storages and large-scale distribution.  Often, South American fruit farmers and exporters spend time carefully selecting and picking out their best produce to send abroad, so the fruits are able to weather long transportation.

The Popular South American Fruits

Curiously, there seems to be growing trend towards less common fruits.  Nowadays, it is common to find mangoes, papayas and dragon fruits in your local grocery store.  Chile and Mexico are the most successful players when it comes to exporting these fruits.  Their exports account to a substantial percentage of fruit imports during winter in many countries especially the United States.  Some have considered these countries threats to local fruit industry, but what can local farmers do?  There is a huge demand for these foreign produce especially during winter.  Besides, that is the nature and characteristic of global competition.  Local farmers and growers have quite adapted well.

So, are South American fruits filling the fruit void during the winter? Definitely!  There should be no more argument about that.  This is the trend and it seems to be permanent.

Chef Matthew

Thanks Chef!  Great insight.  I know we’d all like to eat local during the winter, but in Kansas that’s HARD.  While I will still support my local CSAs during the winter as I can, ata least I know I have options in a pinch.