Thursday, September 07, 2006

One Local Lunch

We’re back, Bill is feeling better, thanks, chickens are fine, and I have family history and old farm questions rattling around in my head, waiting for a moment to sit down and process. Soon! But right now I have only the brain-space for this late post.

Liz at Pocket Farm has been running the One Local Summer initiative, a great idea that I haven’t really embraced on this blog. She recently wondered why some people didn’t join. I responded with what I hope was not a too-testy comment, listing my excuses: working in town too much, commuting, busy with other stuff, not a fancy cook, no time to really plan out my meals and document them, still try to shop and eat local, grow lots of our own food, etc.

A little while later, I realized that I was eating a nearly all-local lunch, left over from the last night’s dinner, crafted in our standard weekday style: cook some stuff and throw it together, add flavorings and go.

Grown at home: Tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, beets, beet greens (0 miles, before trip to work)

Added for flavor: Cheese, flax seed and nutritional yeast, (all bulk, from local co-op, 12 miles- true, not grown locally, but…)

Served: In handy work travel-ware (sometimes in a stainless container, much better)
Eaten: At desk, in presence of too many files and other desk detritus.

Ahem. I DO think eating local is extremely important, and it’s becoming more second nature for me as time goes along. I’m still not as pure as WF (who refuses to ever eat New Zealand apples), but I’m getting better. This year we celebrated our first tomato purchases of the year: from a local farmer, who grows them in a greenhouse and gets ripe ones earlier than we can at home. It did feel good to ENJOY those tomatoes, to feel a sense of seasonal celebration, a little produce thrill when new things come onto our plates at the right time of year.

I’m happy to see more people embracing this idea, hearing stories on NPR (which SHOULD have quoted Liz), seeing more interest in local signage at the co-op, etc. Keep it up, those of you with the energy and skill for posting your dinners: I’ll enjoy my little local lunch “jumble” quietly over here.


Liz said...

Not to be nitpicky, but I was really wondering what prevented "mainstream Americans" from getting on the eating local bandwagon. I have my hands full with keeping up with all the participants of my challenge and wasn't really sending out the call for the minions to post their meals. ;)

Yes, it's true that there's been much more awareness about local foods in the past several months, but I get the feeling that most (your 'average joe') still think it's too hard, or only the domain of gourmets. I've been trying to emphasize that eating locally can be for everyone (and really, if we are heading toward the peak of oil, it's ultimately going to be the way we all eat) and is accessible. A friend and I are toying with an idea about eating locally on a low budget, which should be interesting.

Anyway, it wasn't people like you who I had in mind when I asked that question... it was more like the suburban mom or the city slicker. Being a fancy cook? Totally not required. Having to blog it? Not a necessity. Ability to think about where one's food comes from? Mandatory. :)

gtr said...

Aha, I understand, now, Liz! No problem...

I do think eating local SHOULD be for everyone, but I think it's easy to forget where the "average joe" is coming from (and the world they're living in). Big grocery superstores haven't yet embraced local, from what I've seen (too hard with their distribution systems), so it's not even on the radar for lots of consumers.

Organic is starting to get into the mainstream brain through Wal-Mart, etc, but people need alot more education about what that label means and why super-store sized organic practices might not be that great, either.

There's SO much need for education out there!

Deb said...

Ah yes. I have this discussion with my husband every time he comes up with some organic find from Sam's Club. :) And I wanted to lecture him about buying grocery store green peppers when the local farmer's market (and it just started up this year! hooray!) is tomorrow morning. But it's all about balancing marital bliss with spousal education. ;)