eatdrinkTC is excited to be able to share this article by Bill Palladino of Taste the Local Difference with you. Taste the Local Difference and partner organizations are working towards 20% of our region’s food being supplied by local growers and food entrepreneurs by the year 2020. If we achieve this goal, northwest Michigan will be the first region in the country to do so and the economic results will fundamentally change the conversation about the power of buying local.
By Bill Palladino
“Since oils have the most aroma and nutrients when they are fresh, cold-pressed and unrefined, it helps to grow and press them locally. But it turns out, some of the crops we don’t even grow anymore close by—even though we could. We’ve lost the knowledge and infrastructure.”
– Christoph Milz
The first evidence of humans pressing nuts and seeds for their oil dates back thousands of years to about 3000 B.C. Seed and nut oils were important sources of dietary fat for many cultures around the world. This was especially significant for cultures that forbid the consumption of animal-derived fats or otherwise didn’t have readily available sources for them.
Since then we’ve been addicted to using vegetable oils in our foods in both raw and cooked forms. We dare you to venture out into the foodie Mecca that is northern Michigan and find dishes prepared without such oils. It’s a rarity.
I first met Christoph Milz after he called me last winter. He asked me, in his lilting Germanic accent, if I knew any farmers growing nuts and seeds. He wanted to make culinary oils from locally grown crops. Milz says, “Culinary oils can be much more flavorful and interesting than we are used to, and they support a healthy diet.” Read more