Friday, February 19, 2010

Hooray for Local Food!


This beautiful bounty is my first order purchased from the Oklahoma Food Coop, which I've recently joined. It includes farm fresh eggs, grass-fed ground beef, grass-fed Italian pork sausages, bulk pork neck bones (awesome for saucemaking), super-healthy yogurt cheese, local organic honey, fresh organic radicchio, and a beautiful 25lb pail of local, organic whole wheat flour. I also ordered 36 strawberry, 26 tomato, and 20 pepper LIVE PLANTS, but those we won't pick up until March or April. 

As you may remember from my post about the movie "Food, Inc." I was pretty grossed out by the things I learned about the food industry in this country and started investigating other options for feeding my family. The Oklahoma Food Coop delivers in my area, and connects dozens of organic and certified naturally grown producers in our state, many of whom practice the humane techniques for growing livestock discussed in the movie. I already prefer to batch cook meals to save time, and so with a little extra planning, I could buy fresh, local, HEALTHY ingredients, spend a day cooking, and then be good to go for the month and know exactly what was in the food I fed to my family. 

This resolution also coincides with the March Challenge posted on Not Dabbling in Normal in which readers are being encouraged to try to avoid commercially processed foods for the entire month. For many of us, that will more likely mean cutting out as much as we can. I've already taken steps to make more basic staple foods from scratch, like our bread, and I'm planning to tackle pasta next month. With the meats pictured above, I plan to make a large batch of marinara sauce (from my grandmother's recipe) and meatballs. The sauce will be used for spaghetti, pizza, and lasagna that I'll be making next month. The wheat and honey will be used for our daily bread, which I make about twice a week. Once we start harvesting greens, dinner salads will be a big staple, too. I whipped this up last night:

Chicken salad with the local radicchio and hard-boiled eggs, and a homemade honey mustard vinaigrette. The chicken, while not locally raised, WAS humanely raised cage-free organically and I bought it at WALMART of all places, for the same price as the commercial stuff.  

Check out Local for sources of local foods in YOUR area, and give responsible eating a try. Supporting local business, eating more nutritious, better-tasting foods, being good to the environment...what's not to like?

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