I remember hearing about the eat local challenge last year, and paying attention to what we ate from local farmers and merchants, but we didn’t officially join the challenge last year and this year, I am accepting the challenge of “How Local can you go?” as put forth by a nearby food co-op in Viroqua, WI (http://viroquafood.coop/ ).
The Eat Local Challenge is September 5th – 14th here in our area (La Crosse, WI)
The Wisconsin Eat Local Challenge, challenges you to spend 10% of your food budget on local items. To me that is a given so it doesn’t even seem like a challenge, but I signed up anyway so my feedback can be counted, and so I could get one of their nice tracking forms. I wanted a tracking form because I’m curious how much we do spend on local products.
Then I found the Eat Local America challenge advertised at our local food co-op. The Eat Local America challenge, invites participants to eat 80% local food. Wow there is a big difference between 10% and 80%. I’m torn between simply tracking what I’m normally eating as far as local food this time of year by having the CSA share, purchasing additional produce at farmer’s markets, looking for local and regional items at our food co-op, eating food from gardens and family farms of people I know, and purchasing meat directly from small farmers, or going out of my way to be sure I’m eating at least 80% local food. When I think about that I suddenly panic at what my smoothies will be like (very few local berries left) and what it would be like to severely limit my avocado intake for 10 days.
I think I’m going to primarily track what we do as far as local food on a regular basis and then pick 3 days within the challenge days to try to stick as completely as possible to local foods and see what kind of meals I create for myself and my family.
Stay tuned as I track my progress and share some of our meals full of local foods.