Over the past several months my family has been moving more in the direction of a plant based, whole food diet. We rarely eat meat, but it still makes an appearance once in a while. We do have our chickens for eggs, and I don’t foresee them leaving anytime soon – my kids absolutely love their eggs! But, what I am wondering, is whether or not it is possible to eat a mainly plant based diet and still eat locally?
I know in the summer we have access to an abundant amount of fruits and veggies through our farmers’ market – and until recently, our summer CSA. But what about all the other months? Is it possible to grow enough and preserve enough and not eat meat? I really don’t have the answer, but it is something I have been wondering about for a while now.
There are so many different philosophies when it comes to food, and unfortunately, I find that I fall into several competing ones. Eat a salad every day? Absolutely! Except for the part where lettuce is not growing most of the year in New England. Should I be eating beans/legumes/grains to bulk up all the veggies? Definitely! But, I don’t know of any farmers in my area that are growing rice. Can that be replaced with potatoes for a starch? Yes, but are they as healthy? I don’t know.
I try to eat locally first, and then organic as close to home as I can find. Unfortunately, living in New England, most of the year organic is from very far away. I am lucky that we have a local co-op that carries a large amount of these foods all year round. I can buy local flour and oats, I can even get local organic soy products – if we actually ate tofu, that would be a good thing! But, I know that it is not economical.
I know that you need to vote with your food dollars. I am all for that. However, I also don’t know how sustainable it would be for everyone in our state to eat like my family, and still be able to buy locally. And those late winter/early spring months when most of the root veggies and fermented and canned foods are gone, but the fresh vegetables aren’t growing yet, what do you do?
These are the thoughts that are constantly going through my head when it comes to food. I’m not sure having more meat in our diets would balance everything out, but I also wonder if I could get enough vegetables locally to feed us through the winter and into the spring.
Are these questions that you ask yourself? Do you eat a primarily plant based diet and eat locally? I would love to hear what you do!
Linking up at the Homestead Barn Hop, Clever Chicks, Backyard Farming Connection