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Daily Archives: December 8, 2011

SOLE Food vs SLE Food vs SOE Food

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That is the dilemma. I have been researching the sources of food from the nearest markets and artisanal vendors where many items I use in cooking originate. It has been most enlightening to find that what I may think is local, really isn’t. And, what I may think is organic, is or isn’t, and even then, what does organic mean on some of the foods I buy?

I have become more of a locavore in the past seven years, removing many items from my diet that created problems due to allergies or sensitivities. I have been decreasing the amount of foods with preservatives, and cooking with fresh or flash frozen items. I have gotten farther and farther away from canned or jarred or frozen sodium laden foods.

Things that I believed were produced using local ingredients, weren’t always. They may have been produced locally, but work down the ingredient list and WOW! — eye opening at best. Organic has become a real buzzword as well.

I know some background on how wine is labeled. Pick a local wine and see American on the label and it isn’t grapes from the state where the winery is located. You have to look for the word Estate on the label to ascertain if the grapes were from the vineyards, or the grapes may have been trucked in, or juice brought in.

I have been looking hard at our local organic bread makers. Is it more important to have local grains, or organic grains, or what?

I am committed to reducing my carbon footprint and replacing items flown halfway around the world with items available locally. I also believe passionately in supporting small local entrepreneurs even if they don’t use 100% local ingredients, but look for quality natural, maybe organic or IPM fruits and vegetables. Many sources of my foods are moving in that direction. Keeping them viable by supporting them is more important to me.

I am starting my own personal challenge of cooking at least one “Small Business Sustaining” meal each week, as well as doing Dark Days. It may not be big or exciting but it is my way of making a tiny difference.

Real Time Farms has inspired me. I think it is a great resource and I will be using it to look for more sources even after Dark Days are over.

Fall CSA Week Six

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Getting towards the end of the fall CSA. We will be going through fresh veggie withdrawal, and this CSA does not start up again until May. It was rainy and muddy picking up our box, but there were twelve wonderful additions to the fridge.

We received:
Red Romaine Lettuce
2 baby bok choi
1 large leek (plus the extra one that I got when I swapped the lacinato kale)
a bag of green and red mustard greens
a bag of mixed cooking greens
butternut squash
a bag of garlic
a bag of carrots
a bag of Beauregard sweet potatoes
purple topped turnips
1 large rutabaga

All organic, and this week’s box was quite a bit different than last week, which is a good thing. I like the variety.

I am making sauerkraut again with last week’s cabbage, and will be making “pumpkin” bread using two of the squashes that I have been saving. I find butternut squash works great in many zucchini or pumpkin bread recipes. Looks like a stir fry later in the week as well. I did find organic chicken thighs at the natural foods store yesterday, and have enough other stuff in the pantry to make chicken chow mein and use up bok choy and Napa cabbage from past weeks.

We are definitely eating better from this CSA than we did in the past, and I appreciate getting good veggies since the stink bugs have been limiting what I harvested from our garden. Can’t wait until we eliminate those pests from our environment. I heard they may have found a natural predator and are studying it. It can’t come fast enough for us.