One of my passions, besides knitting, is cooking (well, cooking AND eating). I love a home cooked meal, I love to read recipes and cookbooks, and I love to go food shopping. I belong to a cooking club, (I one point I belonged to three), I get three or four food magazines a month. I will often attend two different farmers' markets in the same morning. And I belong to a CSA.
So when I found out about the Eat Local Challenge in mid- August, I wanted to be a part. Jen from Life Begins at 30 spelled it out with these questions .
What if all of our food decisions for a month were based on what was available in our foodshed? What is it like to eat only what's in season? What if we all became more aware of where our food really comes from? What if local businesses got the message that people actually care about where their food comes from because of the sheer number of people asking questions about sourcing?
Since I was late to the party, I did a half effort job of eating local in September. I searched out some local sources for food and gave myself the exemption of anything already in the house and anything I ate outside the house. Well, you could eat without going to the store for months in my house. There may be nothing to eat but there are plenty of ingredients.
This year the challenge is in May (it is much easier in California than in New England unless you spent last fall putting food by for the winter and spring). I signed up at locavores.com and I have been planning my strategy.
- Byrd Mill has local soft wheat flour and corn meal (grown and milled in Virginia)
- Fresh farm markets in DC have quite a few cheese and meat sellers (they are producer only markets)
- I checked out my local markets last Saturday and scored frozen black berries from last season, and one of my favorite berry growers in S. Maryland has but in green houses and so she already has summer squash.
- Between my CSA and my mother, I have more eggs than you can shake a stick at.
- Belmont Peanuts supplied me with some peanuts (in the mean time I picked up the chocolate covered Peanuts -- yum!)
- For staples, like oil and sugar and baking powder, I have been trying to keep them in the US. I found this sugar, but I am a little concerned they are part of the Domino sugar corporation. I couldn't find much info on this but noticed they advertised together in one of those coupon pull outs in the Sunday paper [hmm, this is interesting, it seems they have merged. I wonder if this dilutes the Florida Crystals brand?]
- I am still looking for oil that is completely from the US -- it looks as if it will have to come from California.
It will be interesting to see how it goes.