(Note: In this post, we will be discussing the mechanics of the Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge. For further details, please read the introductory post.)
The Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge is focused on eating local within a budget for a week during April.
From April 23 - 29, we would like to invite all interested people in the Eat Local community to join us in a challenge focusing on eating local within the budget of an average American family.
Before the challenge begins on April 23, please post a statement on your blog and/or email the Eat Local Challenge site with your statement of participation. Your statement should contain the following:
1. What's your definition of local for this challenge?
Many of us will be using a 100-mile radius from our homes. Dependent on your location in the country, it may be easier or more difficult for you to eat local. You could define local as anything from your county to within the state or the United States.
2. What exemptions will you claim?
There are some things that are a part of your everyday life that may be impossible to source locally. For the purposes of the Penny-Wise challenge, we ask that any exemptions you claim still be included in the dollar amounts for your final budget. It's important to know how close we all came to the average American food budget.
3. Will you be making any changes to our budget goals?
Our budget goals are as follows:
1 person in the family, one wage earner: $68 a week
2+ persons in the family, one wage earner: $121 a week
2+ persons in the family, 2 wage earners: $144 a week
2+ persons in the family, 3+ wage earners: $184 a week
Which budget will you be working with? If you are making any changes, what will they be? Please note that beverages are included in this budget with the exception of alcoholic beverages. Americans spend an average of an extra $8 a week on alcoholic beverages, so if you'd like you can add that into your budget.
4. Do you have any additional personal goals for the week?
Some people have other personal things they would like to keep track of for themselves (amount of time they spend on cooking, amount they spend on vegetables or eating out, etc.). If you have some of those, please state them.
If you don't have a blog, please participate! You can email your information to us, and we will be posting participant excerpts here.
Also, please check back with this site in the next few weeks. We will have a follow-up questionnaire that we will be asking you to answer after the challenge, and will have that available shortly. More than any other challenge, the follow-up information will be critical for this one!
If you've never participated in a challenge, please note that this challenge is considered a little more advanced as it is focused both on eating food from within your local foodshed and keeping track of your food dollars. If you're ready for the extra challenge, great! But if you're not sure you're quite there yet, you may want to consider participating in our September 2007 Eat Local Challenge which won't have the budget restrictions.
Do you have more questions? Check our FAQ page for more information.
As always, please feel free to comment here or email us privately with questions about the challenge.