Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The 100 Mile Diet

Or, as it's becoming known: Being a *Locavore.* Yeah. I heard an interview with two crazy folks who jumped head first into a year of eating locally. They're Canadian. People do crazy things in Canada. I heard it a long time (a year? more?) ago on NPR...which stands for Nerdy People Rock, by the way. And I've been intrigued ever since. Surely, there's something to this eating local thing - supporting local farmers when farm subsidies are drying up, etc etc. And you know where your food comes from so you've got a better chance of knowing what 's in it. No High-Fructose Corn Syrup, or, as I like to call it, Devil Spawn. And for those of you who would like to point to my Coke habit, I then point you to the fact that not only is it in a Glass bottle, but it was bottled in Mexico -using SUGAR. The only other time that occurs is at passover because HFCS is not kosher.

But now I'm all inspired again -- toxins, please see previous post -- and I've looked up on their website how to get started. Problem is, when you put in my zip code - or my moms - there's no 100 mile radius listed for it.

No problem, that's what google maps is for, right? Which puts Dallas in the center of a tiny circle that doesn't include much that hasn't been built up. There are maybe a couple of lakes. I like catfish, but this means SUSHI is off the menu. I don't even plan to give that up when I'm carrying a fetus around. Seriously.

So that's what's holding me up. Things I like too much to live without. Coke. Sushi. Cheese...although the Mozzarella cheese company is just down the street...I can say my coffee is local because the roaster is in Addison. And related.

But I do buy local when it's an option - produce, for instance. Cheese. Um...ok that's about all I can think of offhand but since we mostly cook from scratch and my local butcher just explained the process of beef to me in terms even a cretin could understand so I'm never buying meat elsewhere....maybe I should shift from agonizing over food miles (because who can do that math?) to buying and eating seasonal food. I did, after all, stock up on pomegranates and freeze the seeds so they'll last longer than their 3 months season. Yum.

If you go to the farmer's market page and click on "what's for sale" and then "produce" and then "what's in season" you can see that there are a variety of yummy foods available year round. And if I eat from that list, then that means fewer and fewer hothouses working to bring me strawberries when strawberries just didn't want to be brought. And then maybe I'll finally be motivated to learn how to can/make preserves. Maybe.

Anyone want to undertake this with me? I promise to share recipes!


Jamie said...

I would love to try to eat locally, I just don't have the discipline or the freezer space. I wouldn't necessarily define it so much as looking at mileage, but I figure if you're managing to largely avoid the grocery store you're probably doing pretty well.

Our minister likes to live as organically as possible (she even used cloth diapers until her daughter started eating solids) and she was talking about some company that sells locally raised (grazed) beef and now poultry. You can drive to the place (somewhere like an hour or two south of Fort Worth) to make your purchases, or you can have it shipped for free, but you have to buy ten pounds of meat. Jennie was most impressed by the prices, which she said were generally comparable to grocery store prices. Again, worth checking out, but I sure don't have the freezer space for that kind of storage.

Anonymous said...

A couple of the chefs at the company I work for have been discussing this lately. If you live up north, it really limits what you can eat in winter, unfortunately. We're lucky in Texas to have a longer growing season.

We used to have an awesome farmers market not far from our house, but unfortunately they closed. There is also one in downtown Houston, but I've never been.

It is a great concept, but hard to follow. I do try to avoid eating foods that are hothouse and not in season - but honestly it is more from a monetary standpoint - they're more expensive out of season. ;)

Jessica said...

Keeping it simple here. Yes. I want to go to the Farmer's Market and buy stuff. But seeing that I am only one person we may have to do a three way split! :)