I think I can do the local food challenge next month.
There are 7 steps on the website
I'm going to do the ones that are not stupid and I've added a few of my own to make it frugaler and simpler and less stupid.
From the website:
1: Decide to do it. Pick the dates (so, that's 2 steps but whatever). Done and almost done.
2: Look around. The radius is supposed to be 100 miles. More or less. Interestingly, despite living in the midst of some serious wheat country, one product I would like to have but am having trouble getting within 100 miles...is flour. Like normal wheat flour. I can get it in 50lb bags but that's nuts given how much I would like to use and my storage issues. More anon.
Otherwise, the 100 miles is less frustrating because it's more logical.
In the "look around" step the website includes finding food sources as well as finding people to do it with you. I don't need people to do this with me. Cripes. The US is very extravert biased. The assumption of the group effort being the best option...ugh. Anyway, I'm looking around for sources and pretty much have that sorted. Those were discussed in the previous blog. I found a baker who uses local-ish flour. Shephard's Grain sources from the NW and if you search the provider code on a bag, you can tell if it is within 100 miles or not. Well, the baker hasn't done that but he will sell me a pound or 2 and I am deciding whether that's good enough for me. I will look into all the providers listed on the website and check the distances. Why flour? Calories vs $$ and time for food purchase and prep. More anon again.
3. Consider the 10 exotics. Those were discussed in the previous blog as well. Still narrowing it down. 10 days is not forever so I can finalize on the day. I've started figuring out meals from the locally available non-extremely pricey food sources. I can make soup out of pretty much anything, if I have flour then noodles, bannock and etc are options.
Let's finish the online steps, some of which are stupid.
4. Do it! Yah. I know. Why the "!"? Not needed. Of course, that's not prep so the website is low on prep.
5. Join the facebook group. Nope. Not doing that. Stupid. More extroversion bias and this idea that an experience not shared publicly didn't count. Of course I'm sharing it on the blog and warning people (people who want to go out to eat with me sometimes). Facebook is not where it's at. They track crap on a level I do not like, yada yada yada. Leaving it.
6. Yeah. They forgot to fill this in. Not super impressed with their proofreading or clarity of thought/communication.
7. Celebrate!!! (jesus...3 !s?) And tell everybody about it. (jesus!!!). Anyway, I'll probably post about it here and leave it there.
Subsumed under this step, is the trying to make permanent changes to keep the 100-mile diet going in one's life. They don't discuss why, but here's a few reasons why I would like to try to keep doing more with foods I can get within 100miles. To help the local food economy by USING it and putting my $$ into it. Support your local farmer with emphasis on local. I want to enjoy more of the wild foods around here. Some limits increase creativity. If you know what foods are available, you can learn more ways to use them in more ways. I like to cook and this is a way to be creative with cooking, similar to pantry challenges.
Other steps I'm taking:
A. Stocking up on local products a bit slowly so it's more frugal. Local lentils were on a bit of a sale at the coop so I got a quart of those. At the last Plummer Farmers Market I got 10lbs of potatoes, a few good storable onions, and a few other things that I think I can keep. With the new freezer available at work, the peppers I got can be diced up and stored to make those lentils taste like something.
B. Thinking through entire days of meal planning. So far I have outlined 7 days of meals. Breakfast gets a bit samey but my breakfasts are a bit samey so that's not a problem. This also allowed me to go through the ingredients that are the most productive "exotics." Like bananas. Is it the best use when my apples will probably be available? We'll see. It helped me pick spices/herbs and pointed out that I probably really do need an exotic oil in the mix. Coconut oil is looking like a good option so I can make a bit of a chocolate bar out of coconut oil cocoa powder (an option for another exotic) so I don't go bonkers with the lack of chocolate. If I include sugar...bob's your uncle and I can have a chocolate treat like a little brownie (with that flour) or a chocolate pancake. And one that doesn't taste like chicken or bacon which are my best options for local fat/cooking-oil. Pancakes fried in schmaltz do not sound delicious. I was also able to look at the daily calories. They are low. Especially if I am doing physical labor or am a bit cold (being cold burns calories). This made me realize that fat/oil and probably local honey will be good exotic and local options. Eating enough meat and greens to get my daily vitamins is easy and easily locally sourced. Eating enough meat and greens to get my calories would have some serious intestinal consequences and eating enough local beans and lentils to get those calories up could gas me out of my wee shed. A bit of local honey in some of my apples for applesauce seems like a better option. Or honey in my coffee if need be.
So already thinking through the meal plans also pointed out that the struggle with a calorie-toxic diet may have a link to this remote sourcing of our diets which also tends to lead to eating more high calorie sugary processed foods.
C. As noted above, not getting people on board with doing it, not my goal, do what you want. Instead I am alerting people who might be eating with me. If they are my friends, and who eats with enemies anyway, they know I do weird stuff but it's easier when I warn them. This worked well for my month of not eating out. Hope it works for 10 days here.
D. Double checking the dates. I know I've probably got chicken butchering with a friend on Oct 3. She will make us lunch and me cleaning up enough to cook for myself at her house and not participating in the food sharing is a pain and cuts into work time as well as makes me look like more of a dick than I really am. So, that's not the day to be a hard liner about local food. One of the local foods I plan to eat is the jarred chicken from said butchering event. It's also a lot of my winter meat/protein source so best not to be a dick that day.
E. Preparing to be flexible. If something comes up, I'm ready to bag it for a meal or a day. Some things are going on around the property and at work that result in unexpected trips to town or meals with others. See above...be less of a dick.\
Of course I'll keep notes. I might even put the meals into nutritiondata.com to see how the nutrients come out. No doubt better than usual but we shall see.