After seeing acre upon acre of farmland and greenhouses during our drive down the West coast of Turkey, not to mention the hundreds of tractors we passed driving down the shoulders of the highway, I couldn’t help but to do a bit of investigating into what the deal is.
It turns out Turkey is one of the few countries that grows so much food, they can’t even eat it all. Around 6.7 billion USD, or 6% of their exports come from food in fact. That of course is *not* at the cost of feeding their own people for a change.
No, you won’t find lamb imported from New Zealand, or apples imported from Washington, or anything imported from anywhere, other than perhaps the hills surrounding the village you are staying in.
What it does mean is, if you’re visiting and trying to find something that wouldn’t normally be eaten here or isn’t grown at this time of year, good luck finding it. Instead you’ll be stuck eating some great local food made with the freshest ingredients you can think of.
I would imagine that if you were to ask someone here if the food you were eating was grown locally or if it was organic or fair trade or low in sodium or high in antioxidants or any other tag line we’ve invented to make ourselves feel better, they’d give you a pretty odd look.