So, over the past couple of months I have vowed to not turn a blind eye any longer. We are beginning the process of educating ourselves more and making better decisions for the big picture! We need to make educated decisions for our health and well being and we need to know where our food comes from, how is it being raised and who we are supporting by buying it. Seems simple enough, right? Well, it kind of is. But it's also overwhelming. At first, I was researching too much too quickly and started having nightmares about genetically engineered foods chasing me through giant soybeans fields. Seriously, that happened. So, I went back to square one and just started looking into what our options were locally. That's when I discovered a really easy local challenge. April is Eat Local month in Charleston and the challenge can be as drastic as you want it to be. You can commit to changing a few things or everything. Like spending 10% of your grocery budget on local food or you can make a little bigger of a commitment like spending 100% of your grocery budget on local food. We are somewhere in between right now as we get our feet wet. We have signed up for a CSA with Our Local Foods and we have discovered some other great local products through that site. Some foods we knew about like the free range chicken from chicken whisperer Nate Davis at Thornhill Farms (which is delish!) and quite a bit more products that we didn't know about, like the low temperature pasteurized, non- homogenized milk from the Happy Cow Creamery- I'm not a milk drinker, but that stuff is ah-ma-zing!
|Mmmm... free-range... well it was once.|
|Our Local Foods delivery this week! Delivery right to my kitchen for a few dollars extra (so worth it!)|
We've also signed up for a CSF (That's community supported fishery) through Abundant Seafood on Shem Creek right in our town of Mount Pleasant. We haven't picked up yet, but I'm really excited to pick up fish right on the docks! The kids are going to love that!
And we've also been dining out locally. Last week we enjoyed an incredible date night feast at 17 North Roadside Kitchen which serves all local food and they know how to serve it up right!
|Do you see my pork chop? That's the small size portion, y'all!|
|Sure, I'll get a bunch of apples to hide the chocolate truffle at the bottom of the bag. Genius!|
And what does an all local dinner plate look like? Well, this is what we had tonight:
|New York Strip from McCutchen Farms topped with shiitake mushrooms from Mepkin Abbey, asparagus & collard greens from Boone Hall Farms, potatoes from Thornhill Farms, with a side of sourdough bread from Normandy Farms Bakery topped with pimento cheese made in-house at Kitchen Table Cuisine. And all the herbs I used to season the food were from our own backyard.|
So what will our grocery list look like after the Eat Local Challenge ends in April? I'm thinking we will be working a lot of these things into our budget on a permanent basis to help improve our overall health. And showing our kids that the food we eat can come from right down the street instead of the produce section at the big-box grocery store may just set something in motion. Good habits start young.
So who wants to join us in this challenge? You can register here and print out this scorecard to help you come up with goals and keep track of them.
We're having a blast! And I feel better than I have in a LONG time. My joints aren't inflamed and I have more energy than I've had since before I had kids. My long term goal is to get off my super-crazy once-a-week-injected, possibly cancer-causing medication. With the assistance of my doctor, of course. But for the first time in years I see a light at the end of that tunnel. I see it as a possibility. And that's a straight from above miracle right there. Can I get a A-men?