Saturday, April 21, 2012

sustainable, local, seasonal

today's farmers' market haul

So I'm embarking on a wee project for myself. I am continually frustrated that I don't choose healthier options for eating when I KNOW it would do me (and my CFS) a world of good. Soooooo, I am going to attempt to implement something I feel very strongly & passionately about, but have been too, well lazy, to actually put into practice. And that is eating locally, seasonally, and sustainably/humanely.

Today I went to my local farmer's I've been too many times before...with $60 in cash to see if I could buy 1-week's worth of real-live-local-seasonal-organic-sustainable food & actually live off it for the entire week. I have no idea if I can, and I've no illusions that I won't have other foods of some sort throughout the week, but I wanted to challenge myself just to see. Mind you, I can easily spend about $100 at the regular grocery, buying food that I won't end up eating or that will sit in my freezer for months forgotten. That also accounts for buying non-food items as well, of course.

Today at the farmers' market, I spent about $57 & I got (from back to front, left to right in the photo above): 2 fennel bulbs, mint, 1 dozen chicken eggs, 1 lb ground pork, 1 bunch celery, 1 boneless chicken breast, 2 pints strawberries, 1 whole chicken (she's tiny), 1 lb uncured bacon, 1 bunch kale, 1 bunch beets, 2 grapefruits, yellow beans, and 2 chicken leg quarters.

The chicken & eggs are from Oaks of Marme Farm just 50 miles NW of Houston in Hempstead & the pork is from Harrison Farms in nearby Beasley, and I tried to vary my veggie vendors, getting a couple of items from different ones, but I only bought items which were marked as "organic" or "sustainable"...not "conventional".

Keep in mind, I am a single gal, living with 2 small dogs. I'm not feeding a big family, any men or picky kids (unless I count myself as a picky kid--sometimes I feel like it). I do, however, home make my dogs' food (they will get that whole chicken). And my thought isn't necessarily about the quality of chicken I give my dogs since they'll eat rotten bugs decaying in the yard, although quality is a nice byproduct. The reason I'm going to give my dogs that whole beautiful bird is because I simply don't want to support commercial argi-business anymore...not even to feed my dogs. I no longer want to give even one red cent to support an industry that abuses animals in needless, horrific, and disgusting ways, and who in turn, does the same to the land & environment...thereby doing the same to us, the consumers.

Now, I'm not the biggest chicken fan in the world, but guess what, I didn't see any beef in the market today, so either it's not the season for beef or that farmer slept in or I wasn't looking carefully enough. But the thing about buying local & seasonal, is you buy what's available because what's available is the right thing to eat for that time of year. So chicken, eggs & pork it was for me for my protein choices...there was some goat & lamb, but I passed on those. I meant to buy some beef snack sticks I saw, but I forgot to go back & get them when I was getting my cold stuff...& I'm kicking myself!

I've seen many documentaries...the standards: Food Inc, Food Matters, Hungry for Change, and several more I can't recall at the moment...and they all spoke to me & inspired me. But I watched another one recently that really propelled me...not sure if it was the quality/presentation of the information in the documentary itself or that I watched it at a good point for personal change. It's called Fresh & I admired the stories of the farmers who are doing it right...the ones who are bucking the system to make a change for themselves & the rest of us too. I felt empathy for the other farmers, the ones who are stuck in the system, strangled by the agri-business choke-hold in order to keep their farms & their families going despite knowing it's a losing trap. I decided I wanted to finally be part of the solution, not the problem. I think Whole Foods & grass-fed/pasture raised items in supermarkets are a start, but for me, it's no longer good enough. I feel you've got to get off my ass, stop being lazy & get local!



  1. love this! All those food and flower pics are inspiring me. Our farmer's market opens next month, can't wait!

  2. Thanks Maria...really looking forward to this little challenge. Hoping it will make me more conscious about my food & industrious in the kitchen overall.