I have written a lot recently about eating locally and the environmental and economic reasons for doing so. Invariably the question would arise from readers do you eat local?
I wont beat around the bush. The answer is not yet. Well, not 100% local yet. Just the other day I posted about eating whole wheat pasta with a saffron sauce that had artichoke hearts. Well, the artichoke hearts were from a can and in all likelihood the artichokes were grown in the artichoke capitol of the US, California. I do not eat them often but they are one of the things I used to eat a lot of when I grew them in Arizona, so they are a weakness. The saffron was also not local but that is only because I have yet to harvest my own from fall growing crocus bulbs. Eating locally is also a process but it is one that is becoming easier everyday.
One of the first things I decided was to stop eating non local fruit and veggies. It is no surprise that these foods are transported over big distances, accounting for environmental damage. Any foods that travel to us contribute to that but produce is a BIG culprit because it must be refrigerated in transport, therefore adding to the environmental and economic costs. It is the same with meats, cheeses, eggs, etc. So those were next on my list. I decided to be a little slower in eliminating dry goods like spices, coffee, and teas, since they have a long shelf life and they do not need to be refrigerated. But I am now using more of my own dried herbs to season food and I do not buy coffee and tea anymore.
So where do I get my food? I buy quite a bit from a local Amish farm that has milk, eggs, pork, cheese, un-milled and milled grains, fresh baked breads, and produce galore. I also grow a lot of my own produce. All of it is organic.
BUT I do make a couple monthly trips to my local Kroger where some of my purchases are likely not local. Rice is an example of something that I buy that cannot be grown locally (at least to my knowledge). I also buy organic granola and fruit bars for my kids to munch on and I love Hodgeson Mills flaxseed and soy cereals and I am not ready to give them up just yet. AND I do keep canned goods on hand for emergency situations. A couple of things that I try not to buy anymore are exotic or tropical fruits like bananas, pineapple, oranges, mangoes, etc. The economic and environmental costs are just too great for these.
So that is just a peek into what I eat and how far along I am in my eat local journey. I found a great list of reasons to eat local on a web site called The Eating Local Challenge. I encourage everyone to read it and find out a bit more about why eating local is a process that you want to start for yourself.
I thought I would throw in the following pictures for fun here. The first picture is my oldest son, standing amongst the wheat growing in our fields. The second picture is my son and my daughter playing on the tractor.
Wednesday, May 31st, 2006