Monday, May 9, 2011

I Heart Food Swaps!

I heart food swaps because a good food swap encompasses three of my favorite passions: food, health and community.

Clearly food is the biggest part of the aptly named food swap. Anyone who pickles, ferments, bakes, cooks, grows, forages, brews, distills or cans is welcome to come trade their wares. You always know exactly where the food came from. If there's a question about preparation methods or ingredients, 800 numbers need not be dialed. Finicky online customer service forms need not be submitted. All one has to do is simply ask their fellow swapper: "So what exactly do you feed Laverne and Shirley to make these yolks so spectacularly yellow?". Super cool and super easy.

You're also bound to find inspiration for your next kitchen experiment. Other people may have tried things you hand't thought of doing yet. Or done it slightly different, with better results. And if you thought the sampling at Whole Foods on a Sunday was reason enough to justify an outing, just try coming to the next food swap. Your palate will get such a delicious workout, it'll feel like it went to boot camp.

You know you're getting real food every time, too. You're not going to be bombarded by highly processed foods and artificial flavorings. Lots of folks prepare their items using local ingredients that were either grown in their own garden or procured from a regional CSA or food co-op. So what you're getting is usually pretty local fare, which means it's better for the environment and more nutritious to boot since it hasn't been riding on a truck or sitting on a dusty store shelf for weeks on end. This all equates to being better for your health!

Food swaps are as much about the community as they are about the goods. Strangers collect around a common interest to share their love of food. But so much more than food gets exchanged. Stories. Phone numbers. Ideas. Connection. It's all about bringing back the village vibe. Food swapping is one more way to lessen the individual load a little. Make a huge batch of one item, come home with a bountiful variety of food to feed your family for days, if not longer.

Independence is over-rated. It's time to start re-building our community together. That's why I decided to create Seattle Swappers. Inspired by the food swap groups popping up throughout the country, its an organization where Seattle-area food lovers can gather to trade, celebrate and share their unique edible creations. We host seasonal food swaps for homemade, homegrown and foraged delights.

If you want to get your food swap on with Seattle Swappers, stay connected! Our next swap will be sometime this July. We'll be announcing the date soon.

Stay connected online: 
Facebook: Click here
Twitter: Click here
Email: Click here

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