Monday, February 25, 2008

Blogging a Day of Eating Locally: Dinner

Checking-in as we try to eat locally today as part of the Carbon Fast for Lent.

The afternoon started well enough. I've been trying to finish writing a chapter all day, which makes me hungry. I wanted a snack and remembered we had some popcorn from the farmer’s market — the old-fashioned kind you make in a pan. It was tasty, but the oil I used isn’t local. I figured Diet Pepsi and Coke One were out (does anyone use local bottlers anymore?), so I had some Klarbrunn’s sparkling water from Watertown, WI (hey, that's almost a pun), which was probably healthier anyway.

It was obvious there was really nothing local in the house for dinner. We have organic frozen food leftover from when I was recovering from a hospital stay, but it’s Amy's, Cedar Lane, and Kashi: good to eat but all from California. I thought about making beans and rice, but wasn’t really in the mood and I don’t think either item is local. Plus I like it with lime, salsa, and the cilantro that I discovered earlier is from Australia. We decided to call it a day and go out for Thai food instead. It’s fair to say almost nothing on my plate was local, some ingredients certainly arrived by plane — but it was quite yummy and we supported a local business.

What have I’ve learned from my mostly-failure of eating locally today? I want to pay more attention to labels and make sure if we’re buying far-flung food it’s actually because we like it an awful lot. We do not need cilantro paste all the way from Australia! I like my Rudi’s organic spelt English muffins (California), but we can rotate them with breads from Nature’s Bakery or Madison Sourdough here in town. And I think we can do better at finding tofu, yogurt, and cheese from local producers — easy to do, I just haven’t bothered to look. Spring is coming (allegedly) and with it a big farmer’s market within walkable distance. Till then, we’ll just have to be smarter winter shoppers!