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Reading the Labels

Today, after Christmas shopping for a while, I stopped at The Common Market in Frederick to find a few local items for the Dark Days Challenge. They advertise quite a bit of stuff that is from a 150 mile radius of Frederick. But that does not guarantee that the source of the ingredients meets that criterion.

Labels tell you lots of things. I know mango isn’t local, but a jar of chutney boasts the 150 mile claim, and mango is an ingredient. Their bulk foods also don’t always give the origin of the item, maybe the producer but not where it was grown.

Still, a productive trip. I got a little spelt to experiment with, for making breads. I can get organically grown local spelt from Small Valley and from Rodale Institute. This spelt may be from Ohio, which is a little farther than 200 miles away.

Do I use it in a Dark Days Challenge since I can source it locally, or be a purist and pass? If it works out, I will order some from Rodale.

I found corn meal the other day from Burnt Cabins. Mixed with white spelt, I can now do polenta. I can also do pasta. I also found a local source for emmer. The Common Market also sells it, but no idea of the source. I may be doing an order from Small Valley, where they sell emmer kernels.

I also found raw Virginia peanuts. Woo Hoo! Stir fry here I come!

This challenge is enlightening. I have greatly expanded my sources of food.

About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

2 responses »

  1. Yeah! Isn’t it great to find new sources of local food! I need to see if I can find some local corn meal at our markets.

  2. Burnt Cabins Grist Mill near State College PA sells corn meal. I found it at Baugher’s in Westminster MD. It is also available on line. Their list of retailers shows it available in Winchester and Round Hill. Polenta anyone? Hope you can find some!



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