Written by: Chelsea Truesdell
In Seattle the organic, sustainable and local food culture is a force to be reckoned with, therefore today the values of eating organic,local food are as big a part of me as being Jewish. In my home we embraced the organic produce grown nearby and my mother would often cook meals using ingredients purchased at our local farmer’s market. We would eat seasonally, indulging in the fresh fruits and crisp vegetables. Therefore you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I moved to Tel Aviv and found that the local produce market is located in the center of the city. The market in Tel Aviv houses everything from foods to clothes to electronics. As you dive deeper in, you are bound to uncover more and more food treasures of Tel Aviv. Locally grown juicy fruits, newly picked vegetables, warm pitas and pastries, all of which are waiting to be properly consumed. I love to ask the vendors where their fruits and veggies come from. Although not everything in the market is local, most is. It's interesting to find out about bananas being grown in a moshav in the north, or the apples that come from a kibbutz. Along with local, seasonal fruits and vegetables, one can find a variety of spices and a plethora of cheeses; mozzarella, feta, goat, and safed, all delicately crafted in the land of Israel. Every step you take through the market fills the senses, whether it is the vendor shouting his daily specials, the rainbow colors of the fruits, the smells of Mediterranean spices, the touch of the crisp vegetables, or the taste of the flaky pastries. You can spend less than $20.00 and create a delectable dish with the fresh and local foods provided by the local market.
You don’t have to buy from the market to eat fresh and locally. Most Tel Aviv restaurants prepare their meals using the best organic ingredients around. Big leafy green salads mixed with seasonal vegetables can be easily attained in almost any café you walk into. The Restaurants in Tel Aviv unquestionably take advantage of the locally grown produce and transform them into affordable mouth-watering meals. It is easy to eat healthy in Tel Aviv with the abundance of crisp salads and wholesome sandwiches made with the finest ingredients available.
Not only have the Tel Aviv restaurants taken advantage of fresh produce readily available, but the street food has as well. Smoothie stands in Tel Aviv have been blossoming throughout the city. Smoothies crafted from local fruits and vegetables native to Israel such as pomegranate, date, honey, and orange can be found on every corner. These succulent creations provide the consumer with an affordable way to indulge in healthy local produce.
It is important to realize the significance of eating locally. When you eat produce that is native to your surroundings, not only does it taste better but it promotes a healthier way of living. Local organically-grown food is higher in nutrients and free of pesticides and hormones compared with industrially-produced food. Along with being a healthier life-style choice, it helps build your community and supports a cleaner environment. Simply put, when money is spent locally, more of it stays within the community. Supporting local farmers reduces the dependability on large industrial food-packing plants that waste energy preserving and transporting food abroad. Buying locally-produced food eliminates the need for fuel-guzzling transportation.
Take advantage of this bountiful and beautiful world we live in and support your community. Whether it is enjoying a plentiful leafy organic salad in a Tel Aviv restaurant, crafting a home-cooked meal with the local seasonal ingredients found in the market, or sipping on a natural juicy smoothie, take pleasure in eating organic and local, wherever you are.