If you are at all overwhelmed by the daunting task ahead of eating 100% local in May - then know that you are not alone. Our lives must continue this month of May. We are creatures of 2006 – we have lives, responsibilities, limited time, and limited resources. I for one will drink coffee or tea, eat salted food and eat out – and or eat food I already own (on the shelf or in the freezer or fridge) – but I can choose a local coffee shop, and read menus and labels more carefully and I will. I promise to make a concerted effort to go to the farmers' market every week, buy and eat locally produced and grown food and attempt to make better choices with local as the first choice wherever I go.
really do that already, but for the month of May I’ll focus on it and
see if I can do even better than we do now. I might even get a bit crazy and
make something from scratch or seek out a rare local ingredient or two. I might
choose to grow something which I wouldn’t normally, and/or I might switch brands.
This is not a competition. There are no judges – there aren’t even any rules. To me the Eat Local challenge is a personal challenge – one you take on yourself – to improve your life by seeking out local food and, by chain reaction, improving the world in that little step in the right direction.
Overall I will remain sane and meanwhile I will applaud those with enough pluck to make their own salt, churn their own butter, make their own cheese or create a new science project (and who knows what creativity I’ll find myself). I loved it when I read Cookiecrumb’s posts on making Marin sea salt both last August and last month. This is the fire and energy which makes the Eat Local Challenge exist. This is the moxie which helps to inspire changes in lives and lifestyles. But at the other end of the spectrum it’s really okay to just try and make a step towards local foods, to make better buying decisions (even if it’s at a big chain grocery store), go to the Farmers’ Market for the first time, read a label and choose a different brand. Every step towards local is a step in the right direction. No one is trying to accomplish the impossible – and that’s the thing – eating 100% local is probably possible – but necessary? Pleasant? Even 150 years ago settlers didn’t eat 100% local.
So I’m not going to distill my own vodka from potatoes grown in my backyard or grow my own tea this month. But don’t question my dedication. It’s important to me to spread the word that eating local is the goal and any movement towards the goal is a success – even if it’s a baby step. – Joanne
Jack & Joanne live in Sonoma County – not just wine country, but food country! They create/write the website Fork & Bottle which focuses on artisan food, wine and cheese but also offers information on gardening, what to feed kids, etc., etc. They read labels, go to many Farmers' Markets and also grow heirloom tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables in their garden.