Sunday, September 06, 2009

Another Beginning - Eating Local

There was another beginning that I meant to include in my blog post on September 1. In fact, it was one of the key beginnings that I wanted to highlight, so I feel kind of foolish for forgetting.

Anyway, September 1 marked the beginning of the 2009 Milwaukee Eat Local Challenge. The point of this two-week event is to raise awareness for the beauty of local food. The Braise Culinary School summarizes well the top five reasons for becoming a "locavore:"

  • Helps to support family farms
    • Retains food dollars in the community
  • Exceptional taste
    • Unique varieties not found in stores
  • Maximum freshness
    • Grown locally instead of traveling thousands of miles
  • Helps to sustain the environment
    • Promotes stewardship of the land
  • Nutritious and affordable
    • Promotes healthy lifestyles
The good thing about this challenge, is that it is completely up to you how far you want to take it. Perhaps you want to try to eat 100% local (hard!) or maybe eat one local meal per day. My own challenge is pretty loose... Buy mostly local produce (can't live without bananas just yet) and buy local dairy and meat products.

Just now, I had some of the best yogurt I've ever tasted (at least in the US) from Kalona Organics in Iowa (I am in Iowa right now). It's appropriately named "Cultural Revolution." It's the real deal. Sure, I probably had to pay a bit extra for it, but it was so worth it. I can't even eat the "normal" yogurt you find in the grocery store. It's too sweet and slimy.

Once you get used to eating local, you'll wonder why we ever stopped.

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