Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Change the World Wednesday

On my sister blog, Sharing Our Gifts, I have been engaging in Change The World Wednesday challenges from Reduce Footprints. This week, I will forgo Word Wednesday here to bring you this week's Change The World. My word for this week was going to be the newly-coined-by-the-economy-word "Staycation." Thankfully, Linda has already blogged that word, so here is the link.

So, are you ready to Change The World with me? This week's challenge (beginning today and ending next week on Tuesday evening) is to take at least ONE FULL DAY to ONLY eat local. This means:

"No tropical fruits from across the world ... no veggies that traveled hundreds of miles to get to your table ... only locally grown foods (this includes meats, dairy products, etc., if you eat them).

OR, if you're already eating only local foods full time ... and may I say congratulations to that ... post one of your favorite 'local food' recipes on your blog."

This actually does two things. It forces us (if only for one full day) to eat local, AND to eat seasonal. Because you will only be able to get what is available now from the harvest. For me, this means no bananas, no tomatoes (I have not been buying these anyway because they are only available right now from Mexico or Canada), no peanuts (and no peanut butter), etc...

Basically, this means only eating what I purchased from the Farmer's Market. If I get it from the Farmer's Market, I am certain that it is local, and I will not be making any mistakes or cheating on the challenge. So, let me share with you what I had yesterday before the challenge began. It really got me thinking about ALL the things I eat and use that are not local, even though I am trying to support as many local businesses and farmers as possible. For this challenge, I am using the 100-mile radius rule. If it is from within 100 miles of your home, it = local.

  1. coffee (NOT local). I cannot even GET local coffee - can you? But my local coffee shop does order raw beans and roast them on site. They sell their roasts to local consumers and at local markets. Does this count? Maybe. Depends on your definition of local, and whether you find it sufficient to support a local coffee shop in their efforts to offer locally roasted coffee, or whether you abstain from all coffee unless you live where it is grown.
  2. Bagel. Same story as the coffee. My bagel was created and baked at that same local coffee shop, but I do not know if they used locally grown and milled ingredients. I doubt it. But I supported local business by eating their made-on-site bagels (the best bagels known to man, I might add. Too bad you don't live near them. Or maybe you do.)
  1. Coffee (the rest of my morning pot, with ice added).
  2. Salad: lettuce from my west deck garden, onion from local farmer's market - LOCAL
  3. Drew's natural dressing* (NOT local).
  4. Cottage cheese*. NOT local, but within 175 miles of my home. That exceeds my 100 mile rule.
  5. Organic bread I baked myself. Bread = LOCAL? Flour* NOT locally grown or milled, but purchased from a local market (not a big chain market).
  6. Sauerkraut*: Michigan, so NOT local for me.
  7. Crackers*: organic Late July saltines. Massachusetts, so not local for me.
  8. Goat cheese: Wisconsin, so NOT local for me. Purchased at a locally regional chain grocer.
Dinner: (simple British baked beans & toast)
  1. Heinz baked beans. NOT local, and not really adhering to my rules. Processed, canned, not organic. But the ingredient list is almost ok: Navy Beans, Tomatoes, Water, Sugar, Glucose Syrup (not on my ok list), Salt, Modified Corn Starch (not on my ok list), Distilled Vinegar, Spices. Not even purchased locally.
  2. Green peas*, organic: Sacramento, CA, so NOT local for me.
  3. Alvarado Street Organic Bread* : CA, NOT local for me.
  4. Organic, free range, veg fed eggs*: Washington, so NOT local for me.
  5. Tillamook cheese: in my state, but NOT within my 100 mile local range.
  6. Thompson organic raisins*: purchased at my local independently owned market from the bulk bins, so I don't know where these were grown. My guess is CA.
So, I will have to do better than this for the challenge! The only things in my day that were really local were the lettuce I grew and the onions I bought last Friday evening at the farmer's market.

* means purchased from my local, independently owned grocery market.

Will you fare better?
Visit my Blog Frog link on the right side bar if you want to engage in a discussion of
whether it is okay to eat/drink items like tea and coffee if they are peddled by a small
local market...
If you want to join in on the challenge, stop by Reduce Footprints and leave a comment.


Deb G said...

Just my quick 2 cents, I think it is okay to buy locally roasted coffee (my parents actually roast and sell coffee) and teas if they are fair trade/organic at the source. My rational is that they are shipped as a bulk item. Most of the food I buy is local, followed by bulk and then the few odd treats from California (which is the closest location for things like lemons and avocados).

Green Bean said...

This very much reminds me of a day in my life. We try our best and somethings are grown within a 100 mile radius, some within a 200 mile radius, some not made with local ingredients but purchased from an independent local business, and a few treats that are not. I think, though, if all of us lived this way, what a different planet this would be.

Small Footprints said...

What I'm finding about this challenge is that it's really raising our awareness. When it was first suggested, I thought ... wonderful ... I'm a farmer's market shopper anyway. But then, I started to think about all the things that go into a meal ... like salt or olive oil (neither of which is produced anywhere near my home). To go completely local is, indeed, going to be a huge challenge. But I'm hoping to experiment with other ways to cook and flavor foods.

I feel like a pioneer woman. :)

Small Footprints

Yanic said...

Wonderful post again!

Good luck with the challenge and I hope you'll post some of your recipes and finds!

Sarah: wife, mother, beekeeper said...

This is inspiring. Thank you for sharing. Our farmers market this week.. can I eat a handmade wooden wishing well? :) There was not a leaf of lettuce to be seen. We will get there. I will have to read your blog and see how things go and maybe do a little better myself.