That’s it: the whole shebang! This is my featured meal for One Local Summer this week. And WOW was it good. Local yoghurt with local strawberries. Plus locally roasted coffee that was organically grown in the shade, fair traded, and then roasted using green power. All you who aren’t in the northwest, I’m sorry you can’t partake in our mouth-watering strawberries… in the 15 or so years since I lived in Seattle, I often daydreamed about these little beautiful pieces of fruit. A sweetness unmatched by any other… sublime...
I usually post recipes for this challenge, because I like to share the love when I – or most likely Matt – finds a good recipe. But in truth, it’s not the gourmet recipes that seem to be continuously searched for on Google or passed around the blogosphere. It’s the simple ones: Roasted Vegetables. Bread. Custard. And Pancakes. Yes, pancakes! Since I don’t come up with a totally original recipe very often, I am very proud to say my yummy pancakes have made their rounds around the blogosphere: Green Bean, Eco ‘Burban Mom, Arduous, Heather, Beany, Carla… all have made them, enjoyed them, and passed them on! (Note Chile has also tried them and called them “very tasty”, but also said she can do better… mmm hmmm… Somehow, someday, we’ll duel it out. And when that happens you’re all invited!)
Style vs. Content
All bragging aside, I’m serious here. There is a lot of pressure to make local meals beautiful, but they don’t have to be. What matters is not the stylization of food. Flavor, nutrients, and caring about what goes into your body – these are what matters. What goes into our bodies should reflect who we are and how we want to be. Our ideals should be as pure in our minds as they are when running through our veins as proteins and nutrients. By eating anything, we are making choices about how we interact with the world and how we interact with our bodies.
So, when you’re shopping for groceries, I encourage you to go beyond shopping for your one weekly local meal. While you’re shopping, find a product you use every day, and seek out a new local source. Or if not local, organic. If not organic, seasonal. If not seasonal, small business… you decide – whatever it is that you believe in. In this way you will slowly start stepping into the world of eating conscientiously, and eating sustainably.
Last year Matt and I cooked close to every meal using mostly local ingredients. For several months I wrote about them every week. Most of those meals weren’t gourmet meals, but they were tasty! (Most of them were tasty, that is!) So if you need some inspiration, check out posts like this one, this too, and even this.
If you haven’t yet taken part in a local food challenge because you’re intimidated, stop being intimidated! This is not about the showiness, it’s about the content, it’s about taking another step toward living a deliberate, sustainable life.
Organic vs. Local?
I go back and forth about which is better: organic or local. I try my best for both, but if that is not an option, I try to calculate in my head:
a. whether I really need it;
b. which of my options would have the lowest impact on our planet; and
c. which one would have the most positive impact on my body.
It’s an individual choice. When Matt and I drink wine, for instance, we prioritize organic over local because of our experiences. As long as you are making a conscientious decision, whatever you decide will be the right decision for you.
That’s My 2 Cents. What About You?
What do you think about the whole debate between organic vs. local vs. who cares? Do you try to eat locally-sourced foods? Are you having a hard time finding them? Are you growing your own? Or do you not have enough time in the day to deal with it?