So, our whole goal with this year long process is to see one thing: If eating local on a budget can be done. Our biggest deterrent with eating local and organic has always been cost, so we were faced with the question, can you eat local for less than shopping at Big Box grocers?
Currently, we are at about 80% local, and already it feels like we are saving money. Our weekly trips the farmers markets have been insightful, not to mention delicious.
Organic Red Cabbage from a local farm tastes almost like candy when eaten raw, and purple Kale looks vibrant in the scrambles we make with local eggs. Speaking of local eggs, did you know that grocery stores can keep eggs on their shelves for up to 6 months? One word: GROSS.
Even though we are technically starting this September 22nd, we have started our financial list with some of our prep items we'll be using/eating over the course of the winter. For instance, our brand-spankin'-new food dehydrator, which we'll be drying our flats of apricots and peaches with this week.
And milk. Oh, the dreaded milk. As long time rice and soy milk drinkers, the thought of farm fresh milk scares us slightly. But today we bit the bullet and bought our first bottle, the bottle we'll be returning next week for a fill up.
The biggest difference I'm noticing though is the lack of waste. Before, we would buy so much at the grocery store that we would inevitably throw a lot of food out, which always felt...American.
Now, we use nearly everything we buy, and are much more conscious about our meals and what we need for the week. From fresh Chevre to fresh pasta, everything feels clean and delicious and conscious. It's a lovely shift.
I think the American pursuit for Fast! and Cheap! has really helped us lose sight as to where our food comes from, and I love the feeling of reconnecting with age old techniques, like canning for the winter and flash freezing veggies. Yes, it takes a little more time, but isn't our collective health better for it?