Last year, when we started the challenge, we were seriously stoked. And our progress was impressive (we surprised ourselves by buying/eating 74% locally during the challenge). And, thanks to the number of local products/companies we discovered, we found that many of our local eating practices could be sustained over much of the year.
So, why am I not feeling more excited?
After all, THIS YEAR our local eating challenge should totally ROCK.
The fact is, the concept bores me a bit. As you know, I've been feeling a bit slumpy lately when it comes to cooking, and that feeling has begun to extend itself to the concept of local eating.
Being a locavore isn't new and exciting anymore. Just two years ago, "locavore" was the word of the year in the New Oxford American Dictionary. But this year?? The shine has worn off. The excitement has waned. The Eat Local Challenge blog (a great source of inspiration) is dead. And I've hit the danger zone.
I believe they call this sort of thing a "double edged sword". On the one hand, the fact that eating locally has become mundane to me is probably a good thing. That means its become part of my routine, a natural part of my life. On the other hand, there's some danger that allowing something as important as supporting the local food economy to become hum-drum means that it isn't at the forefront of my behavior. If I can't get excited about it, how can I expect others to do so?
So, we decided that something had to change.
This year, our eat local pledge includes the usual:
- We'll be looking for as many food sources within 100 miles of our home as we can find, shopping at the farmer's market, and looking for mechanisms to extend our local eating into the winter months.
- However, we'll also concentrate on the (more sustainable) ability to eat regionally -- meaning that we'll focus our eating on products we can procure from the near Midwest (WI, IL, MN, IA, and MI).
- We'll also be taking a critical view of what we can do to continue eating locally even after the farmer's markets have closed for the season.
- We'll focus on ditching the slump and FINDING THE JOY in local eating.
What about you? Do you subscribe to local eating as a habit?
Any sources for inspiration you'd like to share?
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