May 01, 2006

May Happenings

Besides the important stuff going on today around the country, Shuna of Eggbeater has some fascinating insight to it, May is also the beginning of the Eat Local Challenge this year. I have come to the conclusion that it will be too difficult for me to challenge myself this way this year, but I am being more mindful of where my food comes from. I am checking labels and attempting to buy as much as possible that is grown or manufactured in California. For example, when faced between three different kinds of goat cheese, I made sure to pick the one from Sonoma and not the other two from Canada.

As I mentioned earlier, I go to the Farmers' Market every week and I try to not buy produce from anywhere else, if possible. Other things, though are much more problematic. I eat beans, lots of beans, and there are very few, if any, locally grown (my version of local is within the state) that I can afford. Grains, tea, spices, coffee, cooking oils, and various other condiments would be practically impossible. (The ELC recognizes this and the folks over there recommend that people try to buy organic/free trade/locally produced instead.) I do buy organic products instead of conventionally grown, but only if it isn't ridiculously more expensive. I can handle $1 or 2 more for a can of tomatoes but upwards of $5 for some nuts or dried fruit? Not an option. I wish it were.

I also realize that these choices are largely available to me because I can afford to be somewhat choosy about my food, I do not have to work on the weekends, I am moderately educated about the environment and nutrition, and I live in a place that makes it easy for me to buy my food directly from the people who are growing it. I am very lucky, indeed. Today is a good day to recognize that.

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