We have over 50 participants in this week's Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge. The largest contingent is the bloggers who are participating around the country. Check out their blogs and see how they're doing!
(click through to extended version to view excerpts from the blogger statements of participation)
10 signs like this | A day in the life of a kitchen bitch | an ent knits | artesanato antropologico | Banana Herds | Burnt Lumpia | Cookin in the Cuse | Habitat Make-Under | I'm Mad and I Eat | Life Begins at 30 | Married with Dinner | Paige the Snacker | Perpetual Carouse | Plants & Animals: All Sorts of Yumminess | Pocket Farm | Rolling in the Dough | Science Sketches | Sin Noticias de Stew | Vanilla Mist
Baklava Queen from Rolling in the Dough (Ohio). With the first of seven days down, I can tell you two things. First, with a little advance preparation (that is, the habit of preserving the harvest for later use), you really can have inexpensive local meals that are varied, interesting, tasty, and healthful. Second, you'd better be prepared to spend some time in making them... which is not a bad thing!
Jenn and Adam from Habitat Make-Under (Kansas City). I’ve been curious for some time about providing good, clean food to an audience who wouldn’t normally have access (geographical and financial) to a Wild Oats or Whole Foods or the downtown KC Rivermarket/Farmers Markets.
Jennifer from Cookin in the Cuse (Syracuse, NY). I guess given the slimmer pickings this early in the season, my personal goals will be trying not to eat my local and organic milk and cereal for every other meal I'm not eating out. And when I do eat out--to the extent possible--I'm going to try to keep it to restaurants that source locally. Oh yeah--to make sure I track all of this I'm going to pay in cash only--money just slips right out of me when I use that ATM card for everything.
Naomi from an ent knits (Philadelphia, PA). Well, if I'm going to be eating local food, it's going to have to be stuff cooked by me. So the accompanying goal is going to be packing my lunch every day.
Willa from Plants & Animals: All Sorts of Yumminess (Pennsylvania). The first day of our week long Challenge is under our belt, and it was harder than I anticipated. Not the food part- we ate just as we eat every Sunday. What was hard is figuring out the costs of things- I know, for example, how much I spent on a pound of oatmeal, but breaking it down to get the cost of 2 cups of oatmeal is trickier. Some foods I had in the house, and don't know how much I spent on them. But I will do the best I can...
Liz from Pocket Farm (Maine). What is the average food budget?, you may be wondering. Well, for a family of two (like mine), you’re looking at $121 a week. Before you say, “Holy broccoli, Batman!”, let me tell you right now that I have never spend that much for a week’s groceries. Ever. But the figure comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and since it’s from the Feds, we’ve gotta (cough) trust it.
Susan from Science Sketches (Brooklyn). This year, I've really become interested in local eating and in the 100-mile diet in particular. Most of our food travels 1,500 miles before it reaches our plates. Eating more locally can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transporting that food, it helps support local farmers, and promote seasonal eating.
PARTICIPANTS IN THE SOUTH
Jamie from 10 signs like this (Georgia). The biggest challenge: No white sugar for a week. I keep telling myself that it's only a week.
Ana from artesanato antropologico (North Carolina). I don’t think the budget will be hard for us to stick to since our regular weekly food budget s $100/week (yes, we have actually calculated this inthe past!). I think the bigger part will be recognizing those sorts of things, like bananas or yoghurt, that make up part of our weekly diet that we don’t usually buy form local sources.
Sarah from Banana Herds (Harrisonburg, Virginia). ... looking for local products that we do not grow has been difficult. Many foods that I normally buy are labeled with the location of the parent company of the brand, with no way of knowing where the food actually came from without extensive research. Others appear to be locally produced, but on closer inspection come from much farther away.
Jenny from Sin Noticias de Stew (South Carolina). I'm apparently a creature of habit. All I want for breakfast is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I know that last May I found some local peanuts, but I haven't seen them in my recent forays. I skipped breakfast today, and then when lunchtime rolled around I really didn't want my potato and gravy or my asparagus. I was hungry, but very annoyed. I wanted a salad with baby greens, Krab, onion, sesame sticks, grape tomatoes, carrot shavings, green pepper and blue cheese dressing. With crackers. I love Krab.
Tes from Vanilla Mist (Pittsboro, NC). Finding your local sources for produce is easier than you think with the Eat Well Guide, and your first local farmers market of the season should be a rite of spring and a paid holiday. Whitney Skillcorn, of Robo Sapien fame and transplanted from San Fran, went with me yesterday to Pittsboro’s first market of the year; it was hoppin.
PARTICIPANTS IN THE WEST
Scott from A day in the life of a kitchen bitch (San Francisco). Eating on $10 a day is hard enough as it is but doing it with local limitations will be next to impossible. I know for certain that means not going out to breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Marvin from Burnt Lumpia (Los Angeles Area). Really, my main goal in taking this challenge is to just learn about eating locally. Since this is my first time really trying this, I’m not too concerned that I failed miserably at eating 100% local food, I think that would be too lofty a goal, at least for now.
Debby & Rob from I'm Mad and I Eat (Marin County). … this is not a project you can just wake up one morning and decide to opt into. And I haven't even talked about costs yet. Fortunately, at my house, a lot of the food is already local; that's just the way we shop. But for this project, I now had to cost out portions: a tablespoon of the local olive oil I use is 62 cents, for instance. I didn't know that before but to stick within my budget, I had to know now.
Jen Maiser from Life Begins at 30 (San Francisco). Taking a line from a previous eat local challenge, I will not refuse things offered to me in friendship or love when it would be awkward, recognizing that personal relationships take priority over my own personal challenge.
Ray from Perpetual Carouse (San Francisco). I have no doubt that two people can survive on $144. I could, and have, survived on much less. I have serious doubts about being able to eat fresh, local food on that kind of money. For one, local products skew toward the artisinal and expensive. Giant corporations can churn out foodstuffs in greater quantities at lower prices than a guy with a couple acres and a hen house. There's also the fact that everything I eat just isn't produced within 100 miles of my house.
If we've missed linking to you (an unfortunate inevitability), email us with your blog link.