I have been in a food rut – well I think that overall I have been in a rut, but food especially it seems right now. We are getting a lot more take out than I care to admit, and I know that where we eat, while local shops, are not necessarily the healthiest places on the planet to put my food dollars.
Recently, I saw an interesting article making its way around Facebook, The 10 Best (and Worst) States to Eat Local. Surprise, surprise, Maine was number 2 on the list! It was an incredibly proud moment for me, obviously since I live in Maine. It also made me realize that my desire to eat a local diet in this state really isn’t as difficult as I can sometimes make it out to be. But, it does take planning.
Planning is something I have a hard time with. I am not one to sit and look through cook books for meals that I want to make. Instead, I will watch the food network, see something interesting, and then try to re-create it. Of course, that doesn’t mean local food a lot of the time. So, I realize that with local eating I am really at the mercy of what is available at certain times. We have access to a lot of great local food, but it does mean that I need to eat more seasonally, and the same for my family. I am happy to eat an array of soups and stews with delicious root veggies and local meats, but come April I am looking for greens, and they aren’t as plentiful right now as my body desires. Instead, I turn to more convenience, and pay ridiculous prices for organic food from California.
What was really interesting to me from this article was that California was absent from the top ten list. In fact, California came in at the near bottom, number 38. How can that be? I was under the impression that if we didn’t buy our food locally, it mostly came from California. Unfortunately, I guess the people that live in California are not able to access all this food that is getting shipped out to other states; seems incredibly strange though.
I know that as the weather improves, and my own garden starts producing, eating locally will be a breeze again. I will be out in the garden in the morning picking the veggies that we will eat for the day, those really are my favorite days. In the meantime (since I know my garden will not be producing for some time), I am going to work on making a list of what items are available now, and trying to put together some recipes that way. I know that I will always use food from away, I mean, I couldn’t ever give up coffee, and that certainly is not local, but I hope to move more in that direction again, after a very long winter of chili and soup!
I need meal planning tips people, please share what you do! Do you have theme nights? Rotate meals twice a month? Make a new menu for every week?
Linking up at From the Farm
Linking up at From the Farm