Sarah Fragoso's paleo mayonnaise recipe, and off I went. I've made it before and loved it (especially with fresh ginger added!).
Turns out, I didn't have plain olive oil in the house (the extra virgin tastes too strong). But I did have a bottle of local, non-GMO canola oil, left over from the Manitoba Food Bloggers' bake sale. So I decided to give it a try.
Wow, that oil is deep yellow in colour. So is the mayonnaise, as you can see. It tastes fine, except that I think I put in a little too much mustard. But it has me thinking about the whole paleo vs. (and does it need to be versus?) local thing.
I love being a locavore, within reason. I do realise that I live in Manitoba, not California or even Virginia. There's been a lot of chatter recently about this new anti-locavore book, claiming that eating locally means going back to subsistence farming, which is horrible, inefficient and bad for the environment. I think that's a straw man argument - I don't know anybody who claims that people should raise inappropriate crops just to be self-sufficient. Except maybe North Korea and, according to the authors, Quebec. Still, anybody who thinks that everything in modern agriculture is just peachy needs to pull their heads out of the sand. The decision after World War II to turn the munitions factories into fertiliser production plants, sparking the "Green Revolution", has turned out to be a mixed blessing, to say the least. The ability to grow insane amounts of soy and corn was supposed to feed the world. Instead it seems to have led to the current obesity epidemic. But that's maybe another blog post, with serious research links. There are a lot of very smart people out there, with arguments on both sides of the question, and it is worth thinking about what they have to say.
The question that is vexing me right now, however, is embodied in two glass bottles. The paleo movement, which I think is doing great things for the health of North Americans, frowns on the use of seed or vegetable oils, because they are highly refined and processed. In the case of canola, it is also highly likely to be genetically modified, with all the potential health issues that follow. If you want to make paleo mayonnaise, the way to go is with olive oil.
However, there is no way in a million years that olives are ever going to grow anywhere near Manitoba, unless global warming reaches a point where we have much greater problems than what oil to use. If I am going to use olive oil, it has to be imported. I do use a lot of coconut oil without any hesitation, because I believe that the medium-chain triglycerides are good for me and my family. But you can't make mayonnaise with coconut oil.
So if I have a bottle of local, non-GMO canola oil, grown and processed on a farm right here in Manitoba, or a bottle of imported olive oil that I bought at Safeway, which is the lesser evil?
I would love to know what you think.