Could you eat only food grown/made in America?
Apologies to non-Americans who don't care.
Sometimes you see patriotic campaigns to "buy American". I wonder what it would be like to eat American and only American food. It would be a bit more expansive than a locavore's notion of stressing local ingredients. You can only eat plants, animals, and other food sources that are grown or raised in the US, or products derived from such. The idea is that you look beyond the obvious meat, seafood, or produce and also consider the other items also used in cooking.
How would you adjust cooking at home? You could still use techniques and ideas borrowed from other cultures, but no imported ingredients. No olive oil from Mediterranean countries. No foreign wine or cheese. No produce from Mexico or Central America. No seafood caught by fishing boats not based out of a U.S. port. Things like Asian greens grown on an American farm are okay and encouraged.
Could you do it for a month or two? How about a year?
Would you be willing to try a restaurant whose notion of fusion was to take the ideas and techniques of a tradition such as Japanese or Italian cooking and modify that to embrace a 100% American ingredient list, with creative substitutions dictated by that constraint?
Just to be clear, I don't think this is an idea that people should adopt. If you want to, I won't think badly of you, but it's not my agenda. This is more of a thought experiment intended to see if it inspires any creative ideas.
On the whole, I don't think I'd have too much of a problem doing this. There might be some items I would miss (a few condiment and pickled types of items from China, although some of the Asian companies actually have plants in the US now which would fill part of that void).
But other foods like meat and produce wouldn't be an issue. Fresh stuff when in season, frozen or preserved stuff when out of season...it really would be no different than when I was younger.
Do tea and coffee get an exemption? THOSE staples would pose more of a problem than other foods.
It wouldnt even be remotely challenging to do this. It might be a bit more expensive, but almost anything produce wise is grown somewhere in the US, and almost every source of meat is raised somewhere here as well. Off the top of my head the only thing I can even think of that I would miss would be prosciutto and cheeses.
I think people in California could even get more localized and eat only things produced in california without much hassle.
I'm not American, but I try and keep non-New Zealand grown stuff to a minimum.
Fresh produce is easy, especially since I grow my own veges and I'm happy eating seasonally. Asparagus from Chile in Autumn doesn't appeal on so many levels.
We don't grow rice, sugarcane or coffee here and I buy them. I care, but not THAT much!
Other essentials like wine, olive oil and wheat, we grow, so not a problem.
I choose locally-produced stuff over organic. Both is ideal, but local wins out for me.
I don't even think it's an idea worth considering, because food is inherently international, because of differences in climate and requirements of different crops. Certainly, you could do it in the US, because we are blessed with lots of aerable land, a broad range of climates, and seacosts. But take it a step further and divide up the food markets by state and you see the problem. Those of us in California, a large state with a wide variety of agricultural products, would get by very well, while people in small northern states would not.
I'm happy to get mustard and wheat from Canada and tomatoes and peppers from Mexico. It's a world economy.
On the other hand, I don't see getting garlic from China. That doesn't make sense to me.
I can't tell if you're joking about the garlic or not...
I don't think it would be very challenging at all to only eat food produced within the US. I agree about the subregions within the US (good luck getting avocados outside California, and no, Florida avocados don't count). But if you can use the whole US, and you count Hawaii for coffee... I think it wouldn't be much of a challenge at all.