Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Food for Thought

I am well into "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" and it causing me to think a lot about things I have never thought about before. First of all, I was off to a bad start when I sat down to read it, for the first time, while stuffing my face with a GREEK pizza. I quickly rationalized it by telling myself that at least it came from a locally owned pizza parlor and not from Dominoes. I had never thought about the carbon footprint of the food brought in from other states let alone another country. I feel overwhelmed at the daunting task of eating locally. My principal at the school I am at is reading "Omnivore's Dilemma" so we have had some lively lunchroom discussions about the food industry. The books sound a bit similar and he is going to lend me his book but doesn't really want to read anymore about it so doesn't want mine but that's OK. I have lent him books before and it takes forever for him to get them back to me. Anyway,we both are going to try to make an effort to buy more local food. I have worked out a deal with him.......I am going to trade him eggs for WINE! What a deal.
So with all this information floating around in my head I head to Albertson's to do my shopping like I have a billion times before. I know, I know this isn't at all what Barbara had in mind but it's hard to eat locally when it's the middle of winter. I was pleased to find many locally made or grown items by just reading the labels and sticking to brands that I know came from family owned farms. I was stretching a bit, OK a lot, when I chose carrots grown in Bakersfield because my son's girlfriend is from there. My hubby, who is not quite on board with this, rolled his eyes. I also found potatoes grown in a town not too far from here. Needless to say though, my cart mostly contained food that had quite a huge footprint. Well, Rome wasn't built in a day and I have to start somewhere. I am starting by just being aware and doing what small things I can and building on that. I am inspired to put in a garden this year and am lucky enough to have a woman with a fruit and vegetable stand at the end of our street all summer long. I will try my hand at canning and freezing. I will shop at the locally owned businesses, but I won't do without my coffee! A girl has to draw the line somewhere.

15 comments:

farm mama said...

I had exactly the same reaction when I read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". That was about six months ago, and I am doing all I can to buy locally. It does take a bit of work, and I feel hugely guilty anytime I step foot in one of the large grocery store chains. I, too, am not giving up my coffee!! I found a small store that sells only locally produced items, and I buy eggs and chicken there. I would love to buy beef and pork there, but I just can't afford to pay $9 a pound for hamburger or $16 a pound for pork. I am currently shopping for a used freezer, and then will buy beef and pork in bulk straight from the farm (I have found several local sources). My daughter (Deconstructing Venus) will soon have eggs and goat milk and cheese, which I will buy from her. My son & his family are moving down from Washington state this summer, and plan on planting a large garden & fruit & nut trees, so of course I will buy from him. Right now, I do what I can and what my budget will stand. If everyone did just a little bit, it would make such a huge difference.

goatgirl said...

Yeah, you were successful in luring the son home! I am glad to hear you had the same feeling. Little by little we can do our part.

farm mom said...

Omnivore's Dilemma is another life changing read. It sounds like you're doing a good job getting started on local eating. Check out www.localharvest.org it's agreat resource for finding local goods.

goatgirl said...

Oops I think he his reading Omnivore's Dilemma. I don't know where I got The Reluctant Omnivore. I changed it in my post. Have a great day!

~mel said...

I read that book recently too and have started changing my ways. Much in the same small steps you are.

I found a small local grocery store only a few miles from my house. For now I go buy my groceries there when I'm on a trip to/from some place else. My ultimate plan though, is to bike or walk there. I have two small children though, so it will take a little planning.

I too am being careful to see where products were made and try to stick to as close to local as possible. Come March we will have our farmer's market back in business at a local park. I will be buying produce there. I also am planning a garden this sping/summer and chickens so I will have food very close to home within the year. I got a pressure canner for Christmas, so I plan to can and freeze for next winter.

My parents raise cattle so I get my beef from them. We live quite a distance from each other but I just get it when they or I visit.

Oh, and I also still have my coffee. I just make sure it is fair trade. Makes me feel a little better about buying it. :-)

I'm in the middle of reading "Affluenza" now. Another eye-opening book if you haven't read it yet. Next on my list is "Omnivore's Dilemma."

Marigold said...

I am distressed...I can't find any locally grown Peanuts.

Kate said...

I have read that book too - there is a lot to digest there! I am in Australia and in an area with a mediteranean climate so I grow veg all year round but I buy imported spices and coffee. Check out my blog at hillsandplainsseedsavers.blogspot.com

goatgirl said...

Farm Mom, I did check out localharvest.org and found some places nearby. Good website so I shared it with my boss.

Mel, Thanks for commenting and good luck in your ventures. Could you tell me about free trade coffee? I have just recently heard that term.

Marigold, I am sure you are doing your part by eating local hay, or do you get the good stuff? We are on the slim down plan here. I hadn't thought that my critters were doing their part by eating boring local hay.

Kate, My goodness, Australia! How exciting to have you visit my blog from down under. I hear it's Australia week. My husband was excited because that is a place he really wants to visit and now with our son finished with college we just might be able to afford it.
Thanks for commenting. I'll visit your blog.

Goldilocks said...

Were the carrots perhaps from Grimmway Farms? I only ask because they're the biggest carrot farm in Bakersfield. Thanks for including Bakerfield on your list; I don't think it's too much of a stretch at all. By the way, a lot of good grapes come out of Bakersfield too! I'm not sure if they are sold in Washington, but I thought that might help a little in your efforts to buy family owned foods.

goatgirl said...

Yea Goldilocks! Glad you made it!
No, the carrots are from Bolthouse
Farms est.1918. Have you heard of them?
Have fun this weekend. Love ya!

Bristolcare said...

Hi Just discovered your blog. I also use tin snips for my goats hooves. They work great.

ga.farmgirl said...

I keep hearing about the "Animal,Vegetable, Miracle" book. I am going to see if the library has it next week. It sounds so interesting. We used to raise,freeze and can so many of our vegetables. That is going to be my goal for this year. To start doing more of it. Hopefully the drought will be a thing of the past here in Georgia and we can grow lots of veggies this year. Love the blog and pictures.

goatgirl said...

Thanks! And I highly recommend Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and everything else Barbara Kingsolver has written.

deconstructingVenus said...

Yay! I'm so glad you liked Animal, Vegetable, Miracle so much! About a month before we moved here to the farm I had gone next door to bum some empty boxes off a neighbor who'd moved in that day, and her mother was home and we got to talking and when she heard what we were about to do she said, "oh, I have just the book for you!" Then she came out with this book and gave it to me as a housewarming gift, this woman who I'd never seen in my life. Who knew that her kindness would touch so many people?

goatgirl said...

I love to think about things like that. How one little act will start a chain of events.
Thank you, unknown lady, for your kindness.
Thank you too,DCV, you are most kind.