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Monday, August 16, 2010

Goal #1: Eat more local/seasonal/organic food

I was recently telling someone that I swear I didn't eat any vegetables other than corn, lettuce and potatoes until I moved to Bend. This shocked them!Why didn't I eat vegetables?

For starters, my mom would usually open up a can of veggies and throw it into pan and heat it up.We also ate a lot of iceberg lettuce. To this day, I can't buy that stuff. Just doesn't have any flavor. I despised peas and her famous stuff peppers -- I turned my nose up to. (this I regret as my mom passed away 14 years ago this June and well, my brothers and Dad swear they were delicious). Another reason, I lived alone. I had no one to cook for until I moved to Bend and had my husband to cook for. It was then I discovered the beauty of farmer's markets and began experimenting.

When I heard about community supported agriculture, I was intrigued but scared.  Could we eat a tote of veggies each week? What if there was something I didn't like in the tote? What if something goes to waste? Can we really eat ALL of those vegetables?

So we shared with our friends and went off on our CSA adventure. You can read the wrap up of our first year with our CSA on my personal blog. For $11 a week for 26 weeks, we were like kids in a candy store and in the end discovered we really did like eating vegetables seasonally.

Martha Stewart once said a healthy person eats fresh seasonal vegetables. How I discovered this was by subscribing and reading Everyday Food Magazine in print and online. My husband calls it "food porn." When it comes in the mail, I have to thumb through the pages over and over and then I tear out the recipes and categorize them in a binder (yes, I am a nerd).

I still go to the farmer's market as I'm addicted to heirloom tomatoes. I can't eat anything else during the summer. It has to be fresh heirloom tomatoes as store bought just don't have the flavor. And when berries and cherries are plentiful at the markets, I buy extra and freeze them and make jam.

So what do we need to work on? Buying locally produced organic beef, pork and poultry and buying organic when it is on the dirty dozen list. My friend Justin hooks us up on the eggs but I'm scratching my head on how to do the meat/poultry locally without chemicals and being corn fed.  We only eat red meat  and pork twice a month and chicken once a week. As for the dirty dozen list, my son loves strawberries so those are always organic. When we don't get our CSA, I need to be better about buying organic veggies and fruit.

I will admit, there still are veggies I don't really care for like kale or swiss chard but I have discovered so many veggies it's not enough for me to quit my CSA.  Beets, fennel and all squashes are surprisingly some of my favorite new veggies.

If you have any tips for me, I'd love to hear them!

6 comments:

  1. Check Craigslist for local meats. There are plenty of local ranchers and 4H kids that raise beef and pork. In the last year we bought 1/8 beef and 1/2 swine and our freezer (the spare in the garage) is packed for the next year.

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  2. The Produce Patch has locally natural pork and grass fed and finished hormone free beef.

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  3. Awesome! Thanks for the suggestions

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  4. C.E. Lovejoy's Market on Brookswood Blvd. features Painted Hills beef (hormone- and antibiotic-free, plus fed a 100% vegetarian diet). I thought it would be really expensive, but it's not!

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  5. We bought the "box of beef" through Bend CSA, so we have 10 pounds of oregon, grass fed beef in our freezer. We find we eat a lot less red meat when we know how much we paid for the good stuff! I didn't know abuot the Produce Patch - that's a great tip!

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  6. Shannon, I too am addicted to heirlooms. We should have an ode to heirloom night and share our love of them together!

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