Monday, November 3, 2008

Random Thoughts on Local Eating

I just realized today that the October Local Eating Challenge is (technically) over. But, I also realized that, after a month of making a real effort to eat as locally as possible, I've begun to think differently.

When I go to the grocery store, it's no longer just about getting foods on my list. It's about reading labels, asking questions, and getting excited when I find a new local product that I've never tried before. It's even better when that local product surpasses all my previous expectations and makes me look forward to purchasing it again.

That's how it's been with my Great River Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. I was fairly doubtful that this product could actually live up to its hefty price tag. But, I've been pleasantly surprised. I used it to make biscuits a weekend or two ago. And this weekend, we used it for our granola pancakes. The flour has a lightness that I've not previously experienced with whole wheat products -- and the flavor is simply outstanding.

We've also been pleasantly surprised with the Aged Gouda we discovered from the Edelweiss Creamery. And we've made the switch to non-homogenized/cream line milk from Crystal Ball Farms... and OMIGOSH it's good!

We've also had a great time developing relationships with farmers, like Jen Ehr (check out a video featuring their farm on YouTube), through our visits to the local farmer's market. We'll be sad to bid farewell to the market at the end of November.

I also read a great entry on the Eat Local Challenge site about sustainability. Check it out. Sophie has some great wishes when it comes to the future of local eating, and I like her thoughtful approach. Right now, it's fairly difficult to be a purist when it comes to eating locally. But, that doesn't mean it's not worth trying.

Here's to a bright future of local eating!

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