Monday, February 25, 2008

Blogging a Day of Eating Locally: Lunch

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

I was hungry pretty early after breakfast. I had a snack, since I decided the Blue Bunny yogurt from Iowa, was local enough. Or at least more local than the Dannon that’s also in the fridge and doesn’t even list a city! Since I’d already discovered this morning that our tofu isn’t local, the tofu salad sandwich idea for lunch was out. But I was surprised to learn that the whole grain Kangaroo Pockets I was going to use are from a bakery in Milwaukee. (Surprised since I’ve also seen these in Publix groceries in Florida.) Moving on: peek in the freezer landed lunch: I have one tofu-walnut burger left from Nature’s Bakery right here in town. (And it’s a workers’ cooperative to boot.) Finally, something upstanding and local!

The burgers do need a condiment, though, so back to the tricky part. The salsa I typically use: Texas. I checked mayo in the fridge: Englewood Cliffs, NJ. I almost didn’t even check the label on the Plochman’s mustard, which I assumed was from New York (snob that I am). But, hey, it’s from Manteno, Illinois, outside Chicago. Not super-duper local, but I’m getting hungry and lowering my standards: anything from an adjoining state is in-bounds.

I’d like this with a salad but there’s no chance the bagged greens in the fridge are local this time of year. An orange? Yeah, right. Some soup? I checked labels on a whim, but no go. This is another area where advance planning would have helped, since I there are plenty of root vegetables around that might be local-ish. I decided to just amuse myself with a veggie burger, mustard, heck slap it in a Milwaukee-produced Kangaroo pita.

While said veggie burger was heating up, I was label reading in the fridge: this has been an eye opener. The cilantro-in-a-tube I keep around because we never use the fresh herbs fast enough: Australia! Good grief I know that came by plane. My cilantro has been to Australia but I haven’t? What’s wrong with this picture? Oddly enough the Laughing Cow cheese wedges I assumed were imported are actually from Elk Grove, IL. Should have thought of that for breakfast. And keeping with the ironic theme of the most “local” items in my house also being the most processed and corporately affiliated: we have Jello pudding cups distributed by Northfield, Illinois-based Kraft Foods Global. Yeah, there’s local and then there’s we-happen-to-live-near-a-multinational. Not that this will stop me from having pudding for dessert.

Check back for the utter mystery of What’s for Dinner later today.

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