Embarking on the Eat Local Challenge

Welcome to August! Today the kitchen partner and I are starting off on our Eat Local, America! Challenge, in conjunction with the National Cooperative Grocers Association and our local co-op Mississippi Market.

The rules are simple:
1. All of our meals in the month of August will be made from local ingredients.
2. Local (by our own arbitrary definition) includes foods that have traveled 200 miles or less to our table.  Here’s what that looks like on the map:

  The Exceptions (because there are always exceptions) 

1. Dried spices.  There are some recipes that are just not complete without a shake or two of spices and seasonings.  For the month the kitchen partner and I will be allowed to continuing using our dried spices.  Added salt and sugar are not included in this exception–adios additives! (Anyone who knows me could attest that my diet needs a major sodium reduction anyway!)

2.  Family grown.  Both the kitchen partner and I are fortunate to come from homegrown backgrounds.  Our families maintain healthy gardens and raise animals on their homesteads in Wisconsin.  We utilize chicken and eggs from my parents flock and beef and cheese products from my in-laws’ dairy farm.  The kitchen partner’s family also provides us with our major local sweetener: maple syrup from their sugarbush.  These products are all slightly out of the 200 mile-radius, but are a component we aren’t willing to sacrifice.  It is part of our family’s food culture–a culture that runs against the mainstream supermarket diet anyway.

3.  2 Tbsp. yeast and 3 Tbsp. sugar per week.  The kitchen partner and I have been making our own bread for over a year now.  All but the yeast and sugar we use in the recipe is local; the last time I checked you can’t make a standard loaf without them.  This will be the only non-local allowance we are granted during the month–if there are suggestions on how to trim this out, we’d love to try them!

The Posts 

For the rest of the month I will be posting one recipe per day, made entirely of local ingredients.  31 days, 31 recipes, and 31 confirmations that eating local is not only delicious and healthy, it’s a realistic and affordable possibility in our current food market.  The only question left, is how will you Eat Local, America?


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