My Green City Life

It takes work, but it’s worth it!
August 29, 2007, 11:12 am
Filed under: in the kitchen, your green lifestyle

I am currently reading Michael Pollan’s _The Omnivore’s Dilemma_ and thoroughly enjoying it. It’s one of those books that every so often makes me want to pump my fist in the air and cry, “Yes! Exactly!” I wish it was required reading for every North American who buys food. This morning I read this passage:

To participate in a local food economy requires considerably more effort than shopping at the Whole Foods. You won’t find anything microwaveable at the farmer’s market or in your CSA box, and you won’t find a tomato in December. The local food shopperwill need to put some work into sourcing his food—into learning who grows the best lamb in his area, or the best sweet corn. And then he will have to become reacquainted with his kitchen. Much of the appeal of the industrial food chain is its convenience; it offers busy people a way to delegate their cooking (and food preservation) to others.

This is exactly the reason why eating locally and seasonally is such a huge challenge. Many people don’t have the time or don’t know how to research where to get the best local food. They don’t have time to prepare meals from scratch everyday, and they certainly don’t have time to preserve the area’s harvest at its peak. At least they think they don’t. Rather than going to the farmers market and sorting through what is available, it’s much easier to go to the nearest grocery store where everything is always available and always in the same place. Why can tomatoes when you can buy a can for less than a dollar?

I certainly understand and acknowlege these issues, but I still maintain that anyone (yes, even you!) can move closer to participating in the local food economy if s/he is willing to put just a bit of effort into it. Baby steps. Skip the PopTart and eat cereal with local milk for breakfast. Or scrambled local eggs. Cook a meal from scratch, and I don’t mean Hamburger Helper. It can be on the weekend. Just one meal using as many local ingredients as you can (or are willing to) find, even one is better than nothing. Turn off the TV for an hour or skip on mowing the lawn. Use that time to cook a meal from scratch. Then take the time to enjoy the meal with someone else. What a pleasurable experience!

You can do it. It takes time, it takes practice, and sometimes it takes a little more financially, but you can do it. Start small, and challenge yourself to keep going. You’ll be helping your health, your local economy, and the earth.


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