Seems that everyone is trying to eat local these days, so I'm not going to go on and on about the benefits of supporting local agri-business and promoting healthful eating. But, I am going to announce that we're going to be participating in the Eat Local Challenge sponsored by our local Outpost Natural Foods co-op.
The challenge is a two-week event (Sept 1-15) during which participants take time to reflect on where their food comes from. The idea is that each participant pledges to spend at least 10% of his/her grocery dollars on local foods. It lines up nicely with Milwaukee's Eat Local Challenge which is held during the second week of September and is sponsored by the Friends of Real Food, (a grass roots community group of the Urban Ecology Center) with support from Slow Food WiSE. During this week, people are encouraged to eat only foods which are available within a 100-mile radius, and those which are fresh or freshly canned. For foods not available in this area which people choose not to give up, shopping at locally owned businesses is encouraged.
Since we've been making an effort to eat more locally overall (in summer, it's easy to get our produce locally... and we've started to focus on eating all local meats and dairy products as well), I'm going to track exactly HOW MUCH of our consumption is actually local. We're also going to make an extra effort to keep our meals as local as possible... shooting for as close to 100% as we can get. We'll keep track of the LOCAL QUOTIENT on each of our posts for the next couple of weeks, and I'll report back with the final numbers at the end of the event.
We're pretty excited. We kicked off the event last night by making an eggplant lasagnette with locally grown zebra eggplant, sauce made from local peppers, onions, garlic, and herbs... and garlic bread made with local garlic, miso, and a loaf of local bread. Aside from the wine we drank, the can of tomatoes I used for the sauce, and the olive oil we used for frying the eggplant, the meal was entirely local!
In the spirit of the challenge, I'm going to ask -- how many of YOU have pledged (formally or informally) to eat locally?
©BURP! Where Food Happens