So, my goals for this month are:
Exploring affordable options for eggs, dairy and meat for our family.
Eating/buying a higher ratio of Florida fish/seafood to non-local/sustainable meat.
We will continue with our goal of 90% local produce and continue to buy local-owned and small-business-produced over “grocery store organic”, which I do not trust.
I did not meet my Eat Local Challenge goals, but that’s okay. “Eating locally” shouldn’t be a contest where I have unrealistic ideals and feel guilty if I’m not reaching them. So instead of talking about how I didn’t reach my goals, I’ll talk about what I am doing.
Almost all of our produce is local, within 150 miles, purchased at the farmer’s market. We do buy some fruit from south Florida, and the occasional bunch of tropical bananas or commercially-farmed salad greens. Any non-local produce is regarded is a great treat.
We are supporting local, independent businesses. Boy, are we… and paying the price, too. We do the bulk of our shopping at Ward’s, and our specialty goods come from the Indian grocers, the Asian grocers, the Russian grocer’s, etc. Ward’s is significantly more expensive than the local chains, even Publix, and the foods that are the most expensive are their specialty foods, so we buy those at the ethnic grocer’s. I buy produce, shrimp, and honey directly from the producers.
I am giving milk up for a lost cause. Local farm milk is more than double the grocery store price, and I just cannot stomach that price, even after we halved our milk consumption. We do buy Gustafson’s, which is distributed from Green Cove Springs, and I have contacted them to find out where their milk actually comes from.
Eggs are the same. I haven’t found a regular, reliable source of local eggs. We buy cage-free eggs about one week in four, but frankly I don’t trust the labels.
I overheard one of the farmers at the market talking about venison and now have a working arrangement and a business card. I have great hopes for venison before the end of the year, even though the farmer hasn’t been to the market in several weeks. She also has a few pigs, and knows I’m interested in buy a half-pig. We have been buying more local-caught shrimp and local-farmed alligator, which are both very reasonably priced and delicious.
It’s getting better all the time.