Eating Local for Urban Families. Gluten-free and Dairy-free, too!

Wednesday, September 26

Keeping Perspective

What happened to September? Oh, I know: school started, clients came back from vacation, and I had to get back to work. I love my work and I’m so lucky to be able to do it at home and spend so much time with my kids. But it interferes with my blogging.

Last Saturday, while Clara and Aaron were off at a birthday party, Iris and I took the bus up to Peninsula Park for the Green Sprouts Organic Baby and Family Fest. We ran into our Alma midwives, Cynthia from Zoom Baby Gear Cloth Diapers. I will always be grateful to the women at Alma for supporting me through my pregnancy and to Cyn for loaning me the cloth dipes that got Clara potty trained. I also made friends with a woman at the Flexcar booth and signed up for a membership! I’m thinking of selling my car. More on this later.

One of the best parts of the event was meeting Heather and Renee from EnviroMom. They've got all kinds of ideas and insights that make your life a little bit greener. I’d heard of them a few months back when they got some local press and loved their style. As I’ve written about before I can become obsessed and single-minded about my food values, despite what I preach: Every little bit helps. I truly need some like-minded friends to help me keep my perspective!

How have we been doing with the Eat Local Challenge? Still, pretty good. I mean, I’m sticking to the plan and not buying much that isn’t absolutely local. All of our produce, meat and eggs are from Oregon and Washington. I tried to go a little while without corn tortillas and gluten-free bread, and I may have been able to live on wild rice and potatoes, but this wasn’t working with Aaron’s or Clara’s bag lunches so I bought more today.

I’ve also been out on business meetings and kid outings quite a bit and I know not all of what I’m eating is locally made. Still, I’ve stuck to local companies, keeping the dollars in the community. I think my biggest transgression was buying corndogs for the girls and me (I know, likely not even gluten-free) at the Oregon Zoo. We joined friends there in the morning and I really didn’t think the kids would hold up long enough for lunch. But they did, little buggers, and I had to feed them. We’d already polished off the cheese and strawberries I’d brought along. I admit those dogs were yummy. But! The Zoo did offer local apples, which we happily munched.

Some days I feel like we’re not eating any more locally than we were before the challenge. Then I realize that we’ve done fine without packaged pasta, tuna fish, and rice bars for the kids, which is new for us. (Although today, at New Seasons, Clara specifically asked for “something that comes in a wrapper.”) And while I haven’t taken meticulous notes on my spending in the last 10 days, I only spent about $12 at the farmers market last week, and about about $80 at New Seasons. We’ve done a good job of working with what we’ve got. And less is going to waste.

I tried to make our exceptions workable for our family so that this could be a sustainable practice, not just a one-time challenge. We may be getting there.

1 comment:

zchamu said...

Shannon from ThreeSeven here, and yes, you have it right! I love your eat local challenge, I want to do it too, I'm just so... lazy.