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07.24.2005 :: Goals for the Eat Local Challenge

1. What’s your definition of local for this challenge?

For the purposes of this challenge, I'm going to define local as any product grown or produced in Ohio. Ideally, if it's a product that is made from a recipe, the ingredients will be from Ohio. As other's have pointed out, local organic would be my first choice, then local non-organic - as often the local non-organic has a lower net cost to the environment than organic products shipped via truck from far away. Plus, I'd still be supporting small Ohio farms.

2. What exemptions will you claim?

I'll probably be finding more potential exemptions as I go along and as I identify them, I'll try to research local alternatives.

Some of the things that I've already identified:


  • Asparagus (now that it's out of season my choice is to get the stuff that is shipped in to my grocery store or replace it with something else - it's been a mainstay of my diet. Maybe I'll just cut down on the amount that I eat.)

  • Olive oil

  • Butter (I've been using Danish butter - I should be able to find a substitute pretty easily for this. Update: My local grocery store carries products (milk and butter) from Hartzler Family Dairy, a small Ohio dairy.)

  • Tortilla Shells - this has been the only bread that I've been eating. I may try to make these myself.

  • Oatmeal - I have a big canister of Quaker Oats. I'm going to have to do some research to see if I can get this from a local producer. Maybe from an Amish market.

  • Sugar - I use sugar in my coffee and brown sugar on my oatmeal. I'll have to see if I can accept honey as a substitute sweetner or if there are any other options (this amounts to about 2 tablespoons per day)

  • Some spices and most seasonings. I don't use many spices and the herb I use most often is basil and that's growing outside in my backyard.

  • Salt - My salt may actually be local (pdf). Morton has a huge processing and mining operation up in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. I've never visited, but from what I understand there are big salt caves that have been excavated out under Lake Erie. My guess is that the salt may be mined here in Ohio, shipped to a processing or packing plant and then shipped back. It would be interesting to find out if there are any smaller companies that sell the local salt.

  • Beef products for the dogs - They primarily eat local chicken and produce, but I supplement with beef products. More research is required on availability of products for them.

  • Rice - I've been adding rice to my dogs food every couple of days. It's from Trader Joes and isn't local.

  • Drinks - I drink alot of flavored seltzer water. It may be bottled locally, but I'm not sure. More research on this one!

  • Yogurt. Yes, I could make my own, but I'm kind of in love with my non-fat blackberry yoplait. One of my projects for the month may be to try my hand at making my own yogurt...we'll see!

3. What is your personal goal for the month?

If I can swap out about 50% of my non-local products with local products, then I will have made significant progress. The ultimate plan is to maintain and raise the percentage for the rest of my life.

Perhaps throughout the month of "awareness", those more experienced with eatling locally, can provide some information on how to maintain their local shopping criteria during the winter months.

Posted by Mary on 07.24.2005 AT 06:13 PM

Comments

Mary, butter is EZ-PZ to make. You just whip whipping cream on past the whipped state and then it turns into butter. I make ours every week and it's AWESOME. We'd never go back to store-bought, even organic. I don't know if you can find a local source for heavy cream, though! (We had a heck of a time trying to find a local raw milk source for my cheese making and gave up...) Cream cheese is also really simple. So are tortillas - you can do it! :-)

Posted by: Stasia on 07.24.2005 AT 07:32 PM

I'm not sure where you are in the country, but local maple syrup sure tastes good on oatmeal.

For some of the other things, you might try Google - I"m always amazed at what I find there. Like.... "chicken, free range, (and then the state you live in, or even the city and state)"

Good luck! It's a wonderful thing to do!

Posted by: Anne on 07.25.2005 AT 02:33 PM

For a great flour tortilla recipe, go to the July 5th entry at this blog http://orangette.blogspot.com/ I made them this weekend using this recipe, and they were awesome.
As a HUGE fan of asparagus, I only buy them in season and locally (easy to do with great Farmer's Markets). If your non-local asparagus are coming from South America, chances are that the pesticides being used on them are banned in the US (but happily sold to South America).

Posted by: Kitty on 07.25.2005 AT 08:11 PM

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