I’m back! And I’ve brought a few friends (well, relatives but hey they’re friendly most of the time 🙂 ) My daughter Jordan and mother Joyce are committing to 2 months of local eating with me (and maybe more, we’ll see). We will start May 11, 2014 (Mother’s Day), yet we will be easing them into it from now until the start date.
How have I been doing these past 6 months “off local-only”? OK sometimes and really bad sometimes. The first day after, I went to 61 Main for a slice of carrot cake. It was so rich and extremely sweet! From there, it was a slow transition into including more and more non-local and processed things into my daily diet. Thanksgiving and Christmas with family were minefields of emotions. These foods that aren’t necessarily what I want to consume are intertwined with good feelings of family and connections. I was pleased that for Thanksgiving I had ordered a local, pasture-raised turkey that I prepared and shared with family and friends. My great-aunt also cooked a turkey because her point-earned turkey from Ingles was already there and she was worried my turkey would be dry and gamey tasting. She agreed that my turkey was delicious and beautiful in the end. It was quite pricey though. I am considering raising my own this year. Although I doubt I will do as fine a job as Holden Creek Farms, whose care and expertise in poultry tending is wonderful. If I don’t raise my own, I will simply budget to make a point to get one of their turkeys because it really is that good and that important to me.
After Christmas, it has turned into a free-for-all with food. One thing leads to another to another and before I knew it I had a Mountain Dew in my hand. Sweets, flour, and fast food – it is like I can’t get enough of it now. I think it has to do with willpower, yes, but I also truly believe that the food is designed to make us want more. For me, it is as if I was a drug addict saying that I can control my habit while saying it is ok to have a little everyday. And if I ever doubted that what I ate affected how I feel, I now have a constant reminder. Those low back pains, joint stiffness, acid reflux, gallbladder twinges… they are back, along with 30 pounds of the 65 I lost.
So I knew I would be going local again for my health. And for my sense of loyalty to my community. Every bite comes with a heaping dose of guilt. If I am not voting with my money to increase my community, then I am most definitely voting against it. And oh my! It was a lot cheaper to pay for quality local food than the fast food for a family of 4. I need to eat local to get back on budget! It amazes me that people complain about the price of locally grown/raised veggies and meat yet will pay $20 or more for Franken-food that will cause you to feel worse in the long run. I wonder too about portion size and overeating of processed foods compared to the nutrient dense and complete whole foods.
This time of year is a great time to recommit, as Farmers Markets will be starting up in the next week or so, which makes it convenient to buy from locals. David and I have started lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, collards, tomatoes, and peppers from seed. Plenty more seeds to start too – I have the seeds from last year that overwintered in my freezer. I plan to grow more of my own this year too.
If you are interested, re-read my initial post that got me started on this journey here. And if you feel the need to give ‘going local’ a try for a month or more, let me know! I have heard from a couple of families that are thinking of giving it a go, and from many people who are perhaps not going completely local but incorporating more local into their diets. I LOVE hearing that! I would like to do a mini-interview and post your story on this blog.