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Healthy Living in Ecuador, Part 1

“What is this? It looks familiar and the taste takes me back to my early childhood. It’s delicious! What do you call this thing?” “It’s a tomato”, Diane said. “It’s a fresh tomato.”

So Ecuador is a developing nation; apparently not yet developed to the point where they whip air into their ice cream that has been sweetened with corn syrup and fresh vegetables and fruits are grown from seeds that have not been genetically modified to increase yields and profits without regard for taste. Bread here is dense and heavy and sugar is still used for sweetening things. Bakeries can be found on every other block and crowds gather at their doors around 4 PM to purchase fresh, hot baked goods for the evening meal. Fishermen collect on street corners selling their fresh caught seafood and live chickens are often seen tied and tethered by their feet, 2-3 together and sold to women gathering provisions for the kitchen. Fresh Farmer’s Cheese is sold in many locations and cut from large blocks to order.

As I’m writing this, it is still dark…around 5 A.M. and I can hear the outboard motors of the small fishing skiffs heading up the coast to cast their nets, gathering the day’s catch. Food here doesn’t travel very far from source to plate; perhaps a few kilometers. Dirt must be washed from potatoes, carrots and onions as they are literally pulled from the ground, placed into baskets and taken to market within hours. Pineapples, bananas, plantains, and avocados all arrive in trucks directly from the source. I have begun to grow accustomed to the food preparation process as canned and frozen items are rare in our kitchen. Preparation takes a bit more time to wash, peel, chop and cut but the results are certainly worth it! Although Fatima often prepares our food for us, I still enjoy kitchen duty from time and I can honestly say that …This Does Not Suck!

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