Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Introductions are in order

I can't tell you the moment my love-affair with local food began, because it was likely before I was forming memories. What I can tell you is that one of my favorite parts of summer as a kid was my mom picking up berries or corn-on-the cob from a farmer's truck, or better yet, picking my own wild strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, not to mention picking blueberries or apples at my family's homes. Back then it wasn't such a big deal though, it was just how things were.. Both my grandmas were canners. Our family spent a Saturday each fall making sauerkraut from the garden's cabbage. I knew the grocery store food wasn't as tasty. Life moved on and I kind of lost touch with that way of life. Out on my own I bought food in a grocery store. In college, as an ecology major no less, I rarely even went to the produce section, it was too expensive. I subsisted on Lipton noodles and instant oatmeal. maybe I would get some potatoes if they were on sale. My fruits and vegetables mostly consisted of bits of dehydrated carrots, peas, and apples. At 21 I found yoga as a new way of life. I credit my practice with making me more conscious to the state of the environment and my own health. I started eating more real food, fewer things from boxes and bags. I actually started to recycle for the first time in my life and think about conservation issues and how they applied to me. Yoga has taught me to start change with you and let it radiate outward. Once I entered what I consider 'adult life' I found the farmers market a block from my new apartment and loved the flavor...and the price. A woman at work pointed me to a local dairy selling yogurt and milk. At that time I couldn't stand yogurt, but when I sampled this, it was completely different. Instead of the putrid smell of Yoplait, there was a fresh, tart scent. They had fruit flavors that became my new dessert; the plain was a great mid-day snack! My fellow yoginis were involved with a CSA, this was a great concept, but I couldn't come up with the huge down payment at the beginning of the seasons to enroll myself. After two years of local bliss, I relocated to Philadelphia for a new job. One of the first things I did was scour the Internet for a CSA. Philadelphia Winter Harvest was a God-send. Fresh, local food all winter long delivered to a neighbor's house. There was no giant deposit, just an upfront charge each month that was really very manageable. No more winters stuck shopping at the grocery store for me! Don't let urban life fool you, this city is a local food mecca. Follow me as a I take my journey to obtain a near-complete local diet. I'm sure I'll fall prey to the convenience of later hours at Whole Foods along the way, and once in a while crave a mango, but my intention is tho live lightly on the earth. This is how I practice ahimsa; this blog will inspire me to play my edges. Eating locally became my way of life because of the flavor, but I also recognize the value of this lifestyle as good for my body and the planet. I invite you to join me and explore your town and seek our local sources of goodies for yourself.

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