August “Eat Local Challenge”

Because we always buy locally grown produce when possible, I’m choosing not to actively participate in this particular meme that began on the last day of July. However, I do think that it is something that is extremely important for all of us to do. I don’t know if I’ve ranted here in this blog that much (I know I have done so ad nauseum in real life) about the poor quality of fruit and vegetables that has been imported from great distances and our acceptance of the often rotten quality.

In spite of the fact that we are not specifically participating, I have answered the questions for the challenge anyway:

  1. What’s your definition of local for this challenge?

    For fruit and vegetables, they have been grown in Ontario. Meat and fish will be fresh rather than frozen (I may be incorrect but this should ensure that the meat is from local farms.) Dairy will also be from local farms.

  2. What exemptions will you claim?

    We will be drinking wine imported from elsewhere. There are plenty of great Ontario wines but thanks to our rather brilliant taxation system, local wine is very expensive and will break our bank account. We are not willing to give up drinking European made wine. As always, we will be buying a Niagara peninsula beer.

    We will also continue to drink orange juice, coffee and eat chocolate. As Barbara at Tigers and Strawberries said, This is not Lent. This is not about removing foods from the diet, this is about adding foods and changing your shopping habits. Exactly. We will also continue to ride our bicycles to do the grocery shopping, rather than sully the already overloaded atmosphere by driving our car. We will continue to do the bulk of our shopping in the smaller shops rather than shopping in the big supermarkets.

  3. What is your personal goal for the month?

    To encourage local growers to pick their produce when it is ripe rather than when it is green. (I SHOULD also learn how not to be afraid of canning so that I would can locally grown fruits and vegetables for use in the winter.)

Even though the challenge has already begun, you may want to participate. Here are the guidelines: August Eat Local Challenge.

4 responses to “August “Eat Local Challenge”

  1. CAM

    We have been trying to buy local more often. It’s difficult! My motivation is to protect the environment — the farther it comes the more the environmental costs. We are not very diligent about buying local, though. Thanks for the challenge, ejm!

    But I don’t want to give up all imports. As one example that I can think of at this moment, we like “fresh” ginger… but I’m not aware of a local source. And I like coffee. We are pretty strict about buying fair trade coffee. There are interrelated issues of health, environment as well as economic issues — local economy and fair compensation of producers.

  2. David

    By coincidence we have also started to try to increase the local content of our grocery purchases by calling at the small greengrocer, fishmongers, butchers and bakers shops on the way to the supermarket. We have also made a few trips to a pick-your-own fruit farm which has the combined benefits of lowest prices, highest quality and physical exercise. What a joy it is to bite a locally grown strawberry and find it soft, sweet and red all the way through. So very different from the tasteless imported variety which are like strawbery-shaped pieces of raw turnip painted red.

  3. ejm Post author

    That is exactly the reason that we started buying locally grown fruits, David. A few years ago, we got sucked into buying some strawberries that had come from California. They looked lovely but they had no flavour, no juice, no nothing… Never again.

    As for “organic”, while I’m definitely in agreement that the use of chemicals should be avoided in the growing of produce, I’m a bit suspicious of the “organic” labelling and think just maybe it is a sneaky way to charge more. I mean, get real. All tomatoes are organic. I’m more inclined to avoid buying fruits and vegetables that have labels stuck to each one of them. That indicates much higher processing and handling.

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