Local Food Challenge – Part II

by Jeanne

Eat_local_huge_1 As the Eat Local Challenge drew to an official close yesterday it’s time to take a cold hard look at my findings.  Yesterday’s prelude post, helped to set the context of what my story is, overextended.  Most of you are aware of my philosophy on local, organic and artisan foods.  It’s good for the environment, the local economy, the producer and well, as CookieCrumb will tell you, "it tastes great."

First, the hard truth. I think I’m running 50-50.  I’ve had bright moments including, organic cornmeal muffins studded with Swanton strawberries, substituting Jamba Juice for homemade ones of Crane melon and Swanton strawberries with Strauss organic yogurt, an exceptional BLAT. But this month has been more of an awakening that this type of change can’t be done in isolation.  I’ve had dark moments, that I’ve enjoyed, one Jamba Juice, a dinner at Maverick’s that I excused myself from everything.

Without stating the obvious, often the reasons we eat the way we eat is dictated by our lifestyle, work style and more simply put, time.

Not only do you need time to shop but you need time to prepare meals.  I leave my house at 6:30am. I return typically around 7:30/8:00pm. Or later. Sure, some of you are saying, ‘well on the weekend plan your meals, shop, freeze, can and prepare your meals ahead of time.’ I did that two weekends.  One of them was because I worked at the farmers market!  So, I’m sorry I have  two days in which to do all those errands that don’t get done during the week, see friends, do laundry, and cultivate what energy I do have for a hike or to write or photograph.   I do send out my laundry, which I have to say is something I never thought I’d do.  This is not something in this New Englander’s actions.  But it saves me three very valuable hours on the weekend. See how much guilt I have?

So while yes the upside is that while I started up my CSA subscription it  certainly doesn’t help that I wasn’t home to prepare meals.  I’ve put that on vacation hold while I’m off retooling myself in Banff next week.  Which brings me to another revelation.

I eat out a lot more than I thought. This is entirely due to my work schedule. Some nights I just ate a piece or two of local cheese and fruit on principle. However, some dinners out were wonderful discoveries such as Small Shed in Mill Valley (rockin’ pizza ALL local goods). I know what your thinking now, I need a lifestyle change, starting with a new job. That’s being actively addressed.  So if you know of any senior-level marketing positions in San Francisco or within 25 miles of the city drop me a line. 

So, the positives to this month-long challenge has been that I have included more organic foods mixed with local goods.  I’m also more aware of how much day-to-day responsibilities influences who and what you are.  I also ask more questions–which I’m certain others will find trying! 

Thanks to Jen who pulled this effort together.  I proud to know her and to be a friend. It’s amazing what power the intersection of one woman, a blog and an idea can have on people around the world. Smart people are neat, eh? 

Oh yes, I’ve given up the microwave.  It’s now the largest bread box/digital timer you’ll ever come across! (So, how does one ethically dispose of these things?)