…and Eating Locally

29 07 2008

Following on my previous post about reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma and thinking about my eating habits, I decided to try my hand at “local” eating. I knew that buying stuff at Whole Foods was kind of a no-no, but Farmer’s Markets don’t happen very often around here and I figured I could still try to purchase stuff with local eating in mind.

So first, I needed a game plan. I found an interesting recipe on epicurious for pasta sauce made with fresh tomatoes and some olives. To make this recipe, I needed some produce: an onion, tomatoes, and some basil. I shopped carefully: all the ingredients were organic and from California. I also wanted to get some fruit for the week. I love bananas, but I discovered that these come from pretty far away: not really local. So I got some local pluots instead.

The pasta sauce turned out great and made a ton of food, which is always good. The main problem is that buying all this local stuff is not as cheap as heading to Vons and shopping by sales, which is what Luke does. It’s tricky to balance budget with being environmentally responsible, but I think it’s worthwhile to make an effort to eat local, seasonal produce because it encourages variety in my diet (like, how often would I eat pluots otherwise?) as well as in the recipes I make. Sure, now is a great time to enjoy summer tomatoes, but come fall I’m excited to try different recipes with autumn squashes and yams.

So here’s to pluots and yummy tomato sauce and fresh blueberries when I visit home in 2 weeks!

Lizzy

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5 responses

29 07 2008
ocnick

Ah, what a refreshing post! I have tried shopping for local goods for quite some time now and bananas are always my downfall. I try to limit the banana consumption to once every couple of months – but I sure would love to find local fruits. There is no reason why bananas should not grow in California. 🙂

Keep up the Buy Local idea!

30 07 2008
green4u

You are right eating locally is more expensive but not always. At my local farmers market the lettuce and tomato’s (right now) are cheaper than my grocery store. Whole Foods also lets you know if something is local and where it is grown so do not completely shy away from them (you might be able to get your banana’s there, in CA).

My local farmer’s market also has a fresh fish and meat locally caught or farmed. Farmer’s markets can be hard to find so call your local muncipalities and do a good google search and you might find some. I did a whole post on tips to finding farmers markets on my blog.

http://green4u.wordpress.com

12 08 2008
Kate C

My hubby and I read The Omnivore’s Dilemma two years ago, and eating has been different ever since. You can definitely look for Farmer’s Markets, and local food at grocers as a place to start. The key to keeping it expensive is to plan ahead and buy in bulk.

We have joined a CSA for the last two summers (two different ones, trying them out), which gives us piles of local organic produce to eat each week. What we can’t eat, I freeze or can and we fill out winter meals with it. We’ve also gone in with friends and filled our freezers with half of a local, organic, grass fed cow last winter. It was interesting to know that the meat you are eating was just eating grass down the road a few weeks ago. Somehow, I feel a lot better about eating meat when I know the cow had a long, happy life munching grass and enjoying mountain views.

Anyway, the CSA plus my own gardening has given us sooo much healthy food for much less money. To locate your own CSA’s and Farmer’s Markets, this is a great website: http://www.localharvest.org/

Enjoy!

12 08 2008
Kate C

Shoot, I meant “inexpensive” in that first paragraph! Hee hee. Sorry!

13 08 2008
lizzyt

Thanks for the info! I think the hardest thing for me is that I’m only cooking for one, so it’s difficult to eat a lot of produce but not waste anything.

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