More and more I've been thinking about the notion that it's not so much eating organic that is the best, most healthful way to feed my family, but to "eat local" (within a 100-miles radius of where I live). Or try to, anyway, at least for fresh produce, fish, meat, and poultry. I've been a long-time supporter of CSA's and have always received produce from local farms are part of our grocery intake, but when money is tight, it seems that expense is always the first to be cut.
We stopped our CSA deliveries about 8 months ago when we moved from one San Francisco house to another. I love farmer's markets as well, but negotiating the crowded SF markets with two children under the age of 5 is no fun. Produce deliveries offered us a way to bring the farmer's market to our door. Since we just moved again and now are settled, I've been thinking of starting up deliveries again. I've just heard word that perhaps a year-round weekly farmer's market will open a five minute walk away from our house and if that happens, that's how we'll get our fruit, veg, and flowers. Finger's crossed!
Today's San Francisco Chronicle had a great article about eating locally on a budget and highlighted next week's Penny-wise Eat Local Challenge. The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness about reducing the energy used to transport and process foods but also to try to debunk the notion that eating locally is expensive. Of course, to eat everything locally is more expensive, but I'm going to take the locavore challenge to see if it can't be done. Since I am a bargain shopping, coupon-clipper, I love the fact that this challenge will require us to spend no more than $144 for the week on groceries for all our meals. This is roughly what we spend now on a mixture of groceries purchased at farmer's markets, Trader Joe's, and Costco, the places where I normally shop.
The bare-bones details (check the website linked about for more details):
- April 23-29
- Eat only foods from within a 100-mile radius from where you live. This includes the ingredients that go into the food. (For this reason I'm lucky to live in California. Hello Sonoma County wines!)
- Spend about $10 per person per day.
- You can have some exemptions like coffee, tea, or salt.
This Sunday you'll find us at our local farmer's market. I usually go alone, but I'll need to bring my husband to help carry all the things I'm planning on buying. Our little market has everything from produce to eggs to fish so this should be fun!
Why don't you join me in the challenge, and we can compare notes and share recipes along the way? If you think you might do it, let me know in the comments! Go locavores!
P.S. I found my camera. Guess I'll have to hold off on that DX2 a little while longer...