Since I read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle last summer, I’ve been on a quest to improve the quality of the food we eat in Suburbia, with a particular focus on eating locally. Quest is a good word to describe my efforts in that inevitably, I’ve encountered challenges to be overcome on the way toward meeting the goal.
I’m making progress, but that progress has come at a slower pace than I’d hoped. The largest giants to slay are those of time and laziness. Time because I often find myself “too busy” to cook and laziness because I realize that with a bit more foresight toward grocery shopping and meal planning and a bit less resistance to actually doing more cooking I could be further along the journey toward eating healthfully.
But, all is not lost. I have made some strides. I joined our state’s farm cooperative. That means once a month I place an online order for goods produced by local farmers, and a short time later I pick them up at a local church which kindly opens its doors to the co-op during the cold winter months. This month’s purchases included a free-range roasting chicken, a fresh lettuce mix, two dozen eggs–with yolks so bright the contrast to mass-produced eggs is amazing–and a wonderful muesli mix I’ve been enjoying for breakfast lately. In addition, Adventure Guy purchased a side of locally-raised, grass-fed beef so we have plenty of high quality meat. He would point out that the high-quality meat stock also includes the venison he “brought home” himself, but I can’t bring myself to eat it. The good news for those concerned about wanton hunting is that Adventure Guy and the kids do eat all that he shoots.
But I digress. Tonight I felt great about the meal I put on the Suburban table. I made baked ziti with some of the hamburger stockpile as well as with Italian sausage made right down the road at one of our favorite pizza places. I only wish I’d had some of the local mozzarella from the farm co-op, which is wonderful but already went into pizza I made last week. In addition to the ziti, we had a salad from the local lettuce and garlic toast made with asiago cheese bread from the local organic, artisan bread shop. And, with every flavorful bite, I realized not only that I really had made some strides on my journey but also that it is totally worth the effort.