Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Living Healthfully: When in Michigan {Eat Local Challenge - two}

A few weeks ago when we began packing for our vacation in lovely southwest Michigan, I began to panic a little about how we'd adhere to our Eat Local Challenge while there.

Because you know -- not only do vacations normally include eating out; they also typically don't feature kitchens with lots of room for cooking. They do, though, include things like campfires, and my kids don't think campfires can exist without s'mores and where on Earth do you find things like local marshmallows? {Answer: um, you don't. Those fall under the 20 percent of foods during this challenge that don't come from local sources as well as the 20 percent of our 80/20 rule regarding eating healthy foods versus, um, food that is only very loosely considered food. Blech.}

So there you have my train of thought leading up to vacation regarding our food challenge.

In all honesty, the marshmellow thing wasn't really my big take away while in Michigan; rather, I realized how heavily I rely on our weekly, local farmers market to supply us with the bulk of our food needs for the week; I mean, I don't just buy veggies and fruit at our market. I also buy pork, beef, chicken, eggs and honey. If we indulged in bread and pasturized cheeses, I'd be able to purchase those from our market as well.

Week two
Our bounty from the Grayslake Market: $67 for:
3 pounds of green beans
2 onions
2 garlic bulbs
2 pints of blackberries
1 quart of peaches
1 dozen eggs
3 pounds of ground pork
1 pound of ground beef
2.5 pounds of porkchops
2 pounds of pork loin
1 zucchini
The Grayslake Farmers Market has really become my go-to place for local food, so much so that I began to wonder if I needed to stock up on food to take on vacation.

Until John gently reminded me that this was the Eat, um, Local Challenge.

Which naturally means, when in Michigan ... eat Michigan peaches! And eggs! And whatever else you can scavenge!

You get where I'm heading. Or maybe you don't. I'll spell out how we sought to eat locally without totally knowing where to go.

1. We purchased as much as we could from the small farmers market in the closest town

2. We consulted Google and made a stop at the People's Food Co-Op, which is a local health food store that features many locally grown and produced foods

3. Instead of driving past the little roadside food stands and wondering about them, we stopped at little roadside stands and talked to the farmers about their produce and farming practices

4. We visited a raw milk dairy farm we found at the Real Milk site {more about this later! It was awesome!}, and we purchased some delicious meats while there as well as yogurt {that was pasteurized and} cultured locally with the milk from the pastured cows at the farm

Love this pretty pastures lady from Moonique Farm in Mi
This pretty pastured lady produced the milk used to make the yogurt we enjoyed in Michigan. She's from Moonique Farm in Vandalia, MI. 

5. We looked for items at the regular grocery store bearing signs saying the foods were grown locally or locally sourced

Overall, we fared pretty well, ate delicious and healthy food and ended up eating about 70 percent of our food from local sources.

Marshmellows not included.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is a lot of food for that price! I am impressed with you. :)


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