01 October 2008

It's not too late to join the Eat Local Challenge!


Hey, how about committing to one month of eating locally?

Today kicks off the annual Eat Local Challenge. October is the best month for this since it is officially the harvest, and the most wonderful and delectable foods are now available at the farmers markets. If you don't know where there is a farmers market near you, you can check on LocalHarvest.org.

Give it a try and do the best you can. Even if you eat local meats purchased from your butcher, or perhaps you live near a chicken farm where you can get pastured chickens and omega 3-rich eggs. You may even be able to find some local produce that is available at your supermarket, or local honey (great for getting rid of allergies!) from a nearby beekeeper. Have fun with it!

You can sign up here.

And thanks to Debs at Food is Love for posting it!

12 comments:

Mark said...

Some people prefer the Spring, but for me Autumn has always spurred me to prepare for the cold months. I also enjoy the structure of the season after the hectic summer.

I haven't been too naughty dietarily, Stephanie, but I *do* need to rededicate. Thank you for the reminder.

Jacey said...

Hey Ya'll !!

This is gonna be a long one. Is there a limit here on comment length??? heh !

Well... yesterday on my lunch hour I was browsing on the net and came to check out your blog. I LOVE the fall and everything about it... so of course I loved the photo. I didn't leave a comment, because I knew I would come back and do it later (now is later).. hey... that almost sounds like candy !!... hehe.... anyways.... thinking it would show nothing in my area, I clicked on the link to LocalHarvest.org and VWA-LA !!... up came a few things in my area. At first it was a couple of dairy farms where you could get good milk... and fresh ICE CREAM made right there on the property from fresh milk. Then there was a vineyard or two. As I read I was already composing a comment for your blog in my head.... thanking you for hooking me up with fresh locally provided.... Ice Cream and Wine...LOL.... not exactly what I was looking for.... but hey !... if you can't have what you want and can only have two items.... you simply cannot go too wrong with those too....right?? Can you hear me laughing as I type?

THEN.... to my amazement and delight....a link.... to a page that is announcing a group that is trying to put together a COOP here !! They are expecting/hoping to be opening in fall of 2009. Below are the beginning paragraphs:

" Company Shops Market is a cooperatively owned, full-service grocery store and cafe coming to Burlington. Conscientious shoppers are ready for a conveniently located store committed to local, organic and sustainably produced food!

Our vision as a community-owned grocery and gathering place is to provide exceptional food products utilizing, as much as possible, our local, small, sustainable farmers. Company Shops Market will provide outstanding products to people who want to know where and how their food is raised, will provide a fulfilling workplace and shopping experience and will provide an incentive for the preservation and initiation of small, local farms thereby supporting the well-being of our entire community."

How cool is that???

Not only that... Anyone (which of course would be me) can be an owner for $100. It states it is a one time fee and not annual. I have emailed them to see if there are other financial obligations that go with it before I jump, but if it is like it appears, I will risk my $100 to jump in and help out. I think it would be exciting to get in on something like this from the beginning.

So... I came to say thank you....see what you did??

Hope you are both doing well.
El-

Stephanie said...

Jacey!!

This makes me so happy that you were able to tap into this wonderful growing community!

First of all, I am totally jealous that you were able to find a dairy farm. I WISH I could get raw milk and raw milk products here. Even thought it seems that everything is available here in NYC, believe it or not, a lot of the vendors at our markets travel pretty far to get here - some well over 100 miles, which is starting to not sound that "local." The one thing they are not allowed to do by law is sell "raw milk" off the premises of their farms. If you haven't yet had it raw (unpasteurized), I urge you to try it. Oh my gosh, it's so delicious, and sooo nutritious and easy to digest (still has all the live enzymes/lactase that digests the lactose). It's what our grandparents and their ancestors enjoyed - and what most people in Europe still enjoy (which is why their cheeses are so good too).

So, if there are vineyards there, that means
there are grapes too!! Yum.

This co-op sounds really exciting. It sounds similar to a CSA but it looks like someone wants to have a permanent home for it. It's a wonderful idea. Even if you don't end up investing in it, it sounds like you will still be able to be a member and enjoy the local foods it brings in.

I am so heartened and encouraged by the power of individual spirit and community activity. I remember reading how all of these small communities in the UK forced McDonalds to close because they just couldn't compete with the fresh, local foods that people were choosing to buy instead (articles hereand here). It makes you realize that anything is possible.

I'm hoping to see a similar transformation in Mark's community when he starts up the CSA in Evanston, WY. I believe small changes always have the ability to grow into big things!

Good luck on your journey into local and sustainable eating, Jacey. Ice cream and wine are a great start!

Stephanie said...

Mark, don't worry... we'll rededicate together on Yom Kippur. I'm still recovering from all of the sweet food I ate last week for Rosh Hashanah (guaranteed, though, to provide a "sweet new year!"). That's why we fast silly. You see how I learned about bingeing and purging? It's a jewish thing! : )

Jacey said...

Stephanie...

I have had raw milk before, but it was when I was a child. Even though we didn't live out in the country, one of our neighbors owned a farm and some cows. One of their daughters was my age and we were best friends, so occasionally when they went out in the country to feed the cows and do whatever else it was they did at the time, they would invite me to go with them. I was never involved in the milking, but I did have occasion to have some very fresh milk. Of course I didn't realize anything about how healthy it was at the time, it was just a novelty to me.I don't recall ever having any raw milk as an adult.

Yes... it appears the Company Shops Market will be a permanent structure and open to the public so it is not truely like a CSA. Here is another paragraph that I should have included to better show what their vision is:

"Company Shops Market will operate a retail storefront open 7 days a week, 12 hours a day and staffed by a full-time, paid team of employees. It will sell sustainably grown and organic produce, grocery, dairy, deli/salad bar items, bakery, bulk, meat, beer and wine and health and body care products. The Co-op also plans to offer an organic coffee bar and fresh sushi! "

and...

"Many of our products will come from local growers and producers of value-added products. Examples of value-added products are jams, salsa, pickles, condiments, wine, beer, soap and lotions. Even our non-local products will offer a range of features that many conventional groceries do not:

* No animal testing
* GMO free
* Gluten free
* Fair Trade
* Hormone and antibiotic free meats
* Free range eggs and meats
* Certified organic
* Whole grain
* Minimally processed
* Imported cheeses from small European farms that uphold centuries old family recipes and traditions"

There is nothing like this here now, so the idea is a least a step in the right direction for our area. It will be fun to see it develop.

Stephanie said...

It sounds amazing, Jacey. I love the idea of anything small and cooperative - just wonderful. Let me know what you decide to do!

Jacey said...

As of a few hours ago....

I'M IN !!

I decided it was very little to risk to have the chance to be a part of the beginning of something so neat. I thought if I wanted it here so bad, I should support it in my small way.

Whether it ends up being a little or a lot... .it will be fun to watch it get started .... and hopefully grow into something good that can benefit many.

Stephanie said...

Excellent! xoxox

Henrike said...

I remember in East Germany there was no way around eating local really. Certain products to me are very connected to certain times of the year and I didn’t miss out on anything back then. Actually I learned to appreciate certain food because it was only available for a short time. But also we had our own garden and grew a lot of vegetables and had our own fruit. And it does taste differently really. Our relatives would produce honey and usually it was sharing. Uhm, not that I want to go back to that system, it wasn’t all that great, but I am glad that I did learn to just go by what grew within a season. I do like this idea of a local eating challenge.

Stephanie said...

It was the same when I lived in Germany too, H. Is it still that way or has Europe too become Americanized in its produce consumption? I know that genetically modified foods are not legal in Europe but I wonder if you're getting more varieties that are shipped from all over the place too?

Henrike said...

You really got me reflecting on what the situation is like in Germany as I don’t go there that often anymore. ;) I recall that after the wall came down I was surprised for years about all kinds of food I had never seen before and I am still at times discovering things I have never tasted. There is a lot being shipped that’s available to people but as far as I know Germany as well as other European countries are consciously busy with food and it is stimulated to eat biological and locally. In Berlin and here there are quite a few biological stores and then you have the markets too and I know of a lot of people who enjoy growing their own fruits and vegetables, even if they only have a small balcony. So I do think there is a difference in consumption even though there is a lot shipped form all over the place. Suppose that really like in every country also depends on the people’s mentality – some would really feel home in the American way of consuming yet the people I know don’t.

Stephanie said...

Based on my experiences living in Germany (Frankfurt)and other parts of Europe in the 80s and 90s, I suspect that Europeans are much more conscious of where their food comes from then we are here in the US. Europeans have long traditions of eating locally, seasonally, and culturally. While it is easy to recognize the 'national cuisine' of many of these countries, the US still struggles to define it's cultural identity through food. Is the American cuisine "fast food?" If so, then that implies that children have no idea where food comes from (they think it comes from an assembly line in a factory). Or is our cuisine simply a hybrid of other national foods that come to our shores via immigration? Then that would imply that we import our cuisine as well. You can see how it is much more of a challenge to get Americans to look at food in this way.