Friday, July 16, 2010

The Plan.

We are trying to narrow down what kind of local eating we are going to do. We are starting to wonder--is this process possible for how we eat? I mean, we both expect things to change a little, but what about our stand-by recipes that we make on a weekly basis?

For instance, is it possible to get brown rice, bulgur wheat, or other grains from a local source? What about flour? And what about olive oil? Do we throw out our war stock of organic extra-virgin olive oils because it came from a truck and imported from Italy?

Our scope of what we *can* eat is narrowing, and everything now seems off-limits. The question is beginning to form--do we really WANT to do this?

In “The Locavore’s Handbook” by Leda Meredith, she suggests allowing 10 exceptions. As I read this, I let a HUGE sigh of relief. Aha! I’m not the only one who has troubles imagining living a life without olive oil and lemons.

Some of her exceptions did include olive oil and coffee (to which I wholeheartedly agree—Dan and I would dissolve fairly quickly without a cup of coffee in the morning), while her other exceptions had to do with how to handle friends and family.

For instance, she allows herself the luxury of eating out or at friend’s houses twice a month. This makes a lot of sense to me, and living in Seattle where there is fantastic food all around, I find it really hard to resist the occasional dinner out.

With that being said, I think our plan is finally taking shape.

We are going to go as local as possible.
This means:

> Produce
> Flour
> Grains
> Eggs
> Milk
> Yogurt
> Meats
> Tofu
> Butter
> Body products (goodbye make-up? Sniff, sniff)
> Wine
> Cheese
> Crackers/Snacks
> Ice Cream

We will also have a few exceptions, making us about 99% local:

> Lemons (this is one of my main cooking staples)
> Eating out will be allowed twice a month
> Olive Oil (but we will opt for Extra-Virgin and Organic)
> Balsamic Vinegar (until/IF I can find local)
> Salt (again, until we can find local)

Which really means NO:

> Diners
> Bakeries (a tear just slipped down my cheek)
> Bars (unless we go to a wine bar and drink local, Washington wine)
> Big-Box Grocery Stores (Sorry, Costco)
> Big-Chain Grocery Stores
> Candy Bars

We will try to stay within a 250 mile radius of Seattle, and provide a guide to how to eat seasonally and locally in Seattle year round (on a budget).

We'll provide recipes for what's in season, and give you the unfiltered truth as to whether or not it's a better way than just shopping at Safeway.

We'll also keep a running tally as to how much we spend each week on groceries. This way it's transparent how expensive a process like this is.


  1. I'm going to check all the staple stuff I get at Costco to see if ANY of it is local. Surely some of it must be. Draper Valley chicken should be local??

  2. Don't forget Theo Chocolate! Local, organic and deeelish! -Amy Lakhani

  3. OK, I spoke too soon. Of course, Washington state isn't exactly teeming with cocoa farmers. Oops. I guess Theo is organic and fair-trade, but local it is not. I hereby vote that you add this to your "exceptions" list. It'll worth every yummy bite. :) -Amy Lakhani

  4. Amy! So funny! We keep doing that... thinking of yummy local things and then realizing that the root of the product isn't local at all...sigh...this is going to be a long journey!!