Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Seven's favorite veggie is (drumroll please) baby bok choy

I've been reading a lot of food posts lately. Why? I have no idea. But it's been fun, and it's made me think, and really, it's helped me shake off the "it's not really summer yet" malaise that our cool, wet season has kept me floating in.

My favorites have been Anya's. Over at The Lovely Messy, she shared recently her family's journey from salads that felt incomplete without bleu cheese to shopping with a $20 bill for just what they need for the table that very day.

Oh, and they went vegan, too. Just in case the new shopping habits weren't enough to radicalize the situation.

We're not going vegan. The fact is that we can't afford it, and you know, I don't feel called to go there, anyhow. Dodging Oli's allergies is adventurous enough without worrying about animal products hiding in his dairy-, gluten-, and egg-free diet. We're roughly 75% vegetarian at this point, with fish and chicken playing the occasional supporting role on the table. Most meals are not meatcentric. In fact, my general rule is that at least half of your plate should be dominated by something raw--and since we're not serving up too much sushi around here, that's usually a veg.
Breakfast: baked oatmeal with fresh apricots

My personal food thing is knowing where my fuel comes from. The more I learn, the less inclined I am to buy items whose roots were deep in soil saturated with industrial farming chemicals. I'm also not fond of sprays and other nasties dousing what I'll eventually be putting in my body. I figure I don't chug the stuff straight from the bottle ... why should I lick the container when it's been emptied, if you know what I mean?

A recent dinner at Casa Blandings
I still buy bananas by the boatload from our local grocery store. I hate it, but I do it. I mean, they're organic and all ... but I now know a little too much about transporting food, etc. So I eye even what's on the big chain shelves and labeled "organically grown" with caution. And we're not even talking about the GMO/GE foods argument here. That one just gives me the creeps.

Thankfully, we have a local CSA that we love. We tried it last year, but quit for the winter months because we just weren't sure that box upon box of chard would seem very palatable week after week. This year, though, I think we're sticking with it past the flush of the summer months. Why?

Last night's main course--braised veggies
Because actually, it turns out that it's almost the same price as buying from a store. Say what? Yes--it's true. I did the math, and here it is: I spend $10 more per week by buying locally farmed, organically certified produce than I do when shopping at the local big box grocer.

So I can spend more and get food that comes from who knows where and is who knows how old ... or I can spend another ten bucks and walk the fields where my carrots are grown, know the guy who planted them, and eat them the day after they're pulled from the clean earth.

Yeah, I'll spend $10 more. Thanks.

1 comment:

The Hayes Zoo said...

I need to redo our math. When I first looked at this it was a HUGE difference.

I can attest to the fact that taste wanes the further from the source you are. My kids (and my dh and I, I admit) have had a hard time enjoying the produce in the USA because it tastes.....stale and manufactured after 5 years of living where if it was fairly local you could get it. Not? Not an option. Hmmm....there's some science in there. :)

I'd love your recipes for what you've got pics of there. My inspiration in the cooking department is rather tragic at the moment. :)