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The Doha Family Guide to Buying Local (Plus Recipe)

by Kim Wyatt

A quick look in any supermarket and we can see that most of the food is imported. From dragon fruit grown in Vietnam to celery harvested in Holland, our food has travelled many miles to reach our dining table. As consumers, we’re spoilt for choice with a vast array of exotic fruits and vegetables at our fingertips. But what impact does this have on the planet? Past research has shown that imported food from international transportation contributes to global warming and other environmental issues. So, the question is: as consumers, how can we make more informed, environmentally-friendly choices?

One of the easiest ways to do this is by buying local food. By choosing produce grown in Qatar, you’re helping reduce carbon emissions from transportation, including aeroplanes, trucks, and vans. Over the past few years, Qatar has seen a boom in agricultural production. A whole range of delicious, fresh produce is now available in local farmers’ markets, supermarkets, and online food delivery platforms.

Despite the harsh arid climate, Qatar is now offering fresh produce most of the year. From herbs and veggies to honey and eggs, there’s something for everyone. And without a doubt, one of the most popular food items is tomatoes.

Grown on the vine, hydroponically, or in soil, it seems that we’re a nation of tomato lovers.

Now that the local growing season is in full swing, homegrown tomatoes are abundant, cheap, and cheerful. As well as being one of the most versatile fruits on the planet (yes it’s a fruit!), tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene (an antioxidant), vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.

With all these benefits, it only makes sense to whip up a delicious recipe with local tomatoes. You’ll be protecting the planet, supporting local farmers, and feeding the family. What’s not to love?

SIMPLE TOMATO AND BASIL SAUCE

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This versatile sauce recipe is sure to tickle the taste buds. It is easy to prepare and can be used in a variety of family favourites, including pizza and pasta. The key is to use very ripe tomatoes to boost the flavour and give you a rich sauce. You can also add other veggies such as chopped carrot, pepper, and courgette as a tasty way to add more nutrients. It’s also a great way to use up tired-looking tomatoes instead of throwing them into the trash—a perfect way to reduce food wastage and repurpose your produce into something new. Win-win!

 

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 kilos fresh tomato, core removed and chopped

1 tbsp brown sugar (or white sugar if preferred)

1 tsp salt

¼ cup fresh basil leaves, shredded

METHOD

  1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and gently cook until translucent.
  3. Add garlic and fry gently until fragrant.
  4. Add tomatoes, sugar, basil, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens—approximately 1 to 2 hours.
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