Monday, March 30, 2009

Some random thoughts on food

"Locavore" was coined from the San Francisco Bay Area on the occasion of World Environment Day 2005 to describe and promote the practice of eating a diet consisting of food harvested from within an area most commonly bound by a 100 mile radius. "Localvore" is sometimes also used.
The New Oxford American Dictionary chose locavore, a person who seeks out locally produced food, as its word of the year 2007.[6]

(My local "boundaries" will be defined as anything within the state of Maine, or when traveling, within that state, or reasonably close)

My earliest attempt at ethical eating was becoming a vegetarian. I didn't think eating meat was wrong, but I was upset about the way the meat we eat is raised. That has never stopped bothering me, but after a couple of years I relaxed my food values and starting eat meat. I found I just couldn't live without it.
For years, I've entertained thoughts of some day living on a farm and harvesting all of my own food. Besides the satisfaction of muddy hands and knees, and the romance of putting up vegatables in the fall, I've been convinced that I could grow my food in a more responsible way than what I buy at the grocery store.

I'm going to call this "the best I can do while raising a nearly-one-year-old and working full time."

I think probably it will just be local produce (fruits and veggies) beginning in June. I can make sure a lot of my dairy comes from Maine too, even if I still buy it in Hannaford. Then maybe the next step will be buying locally raise beef, poultry and fish. Fish should be easy. (I don't understand why Hannaford sells haddock that comes from Norway, when they sell local stuff down the street for the same price). And, once Bear is a bit more independent, I can start making our daily bread.

This is not a switch I can turn. I need to take steps, and only do what I can reasonably manage. I can't drive myself crazy, because I want to change this eating way of life to something I can maintain. It needs to be affordable, or even save money, at the same time I achieve the goals, I'm reaching for.

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need” – Cicero

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beginning in the middle

I've been thinking about starting a blog for a while, and finally I'm doing it. Two things I want to chronicle: my rapidly growing son; my efforts in trying to eat local food. (They're kind of connected, but I'll get to that another time, maybe). Granted, neither may be out of the ordinary, but they're both special to me, and maybe you, if you're reading.

My son:

Bear was born July 16, 2008. That makes him roughly 8 1/2 months now. So much time has passed, and he's growing so fast. I can't believe I've hardly made notes on all his milestones. I'm not going to try to backtrack, but I am going to try harder moving forward.

Today he's sick with a double ear infection and bronchitis. Yet, he's crawling faster every day, and beginning to learn to "cruise." He says "bababa" and other babbling noises that include the "b" sound. He loves his bath, but hates getting dressed.

My food:

For quite a while I've wanted to be better about eating food in a kinder way. Now, eating local is the thing to do, so I'm jumping on the band wagon. I really don't care about being "in." I do think it's awesome that the popularity of eating local food makes it easier.

It's obvious that I want to write about my son to keep his development in my memory, and maybe share with family. Reasons for wanting to blog about eating local are not so clear, but I feel compelled to do it. I suppose it may be as a measure of my success in meeting a challenge. Yet, I don't have a measurable goal. I simply want to do the best I can. (Remember, I have an eight-month-old, plus I work full time, and do not use daycare.)

Today I've registered for a farm share (actually did it last week), and I'm planning a garden. I'm still buying most of my food at Hannaford, but look for local options where they are readily available. I have started buying local fish once a week. The extra stop is worth it. It actually tastes better. I have a long way to go.