Sunday, April 29, 2007

well, it was a good effort.

A week ago I pledged to keep track of everything I ate in an attempt to track where it was from and see how much of my food was actually local. It only took about a day to realize that pretty much all of my food is from far away. Of course, this isn't too much of a surprise, considering that it's still relatively early in the spring in Minnesota and I am accustomed to eating bananas. But there is hope! The farmer's market is within walking distance (although not a very interesting walk - downtown St. Paul is very boring on the weekends...), and pretty soon the locally grown veggies will all be all over. Also, the co-op nicely designates which products are local. We're trying. We're also trying to get a bike, but give us time.

In other internet wanderings....some things I enjoyed reading this week.
The New Snob Appeal of Tap Water

Middle East Conflict Intensifies as Blah Blah Blah, Etc.
So true, so sad, so funny.

The Onion on This American Life
"Seeing this project through to its culmination was equally satisfying and strange," said Vowell, speaking at a book signing in Colonial Williamsburg dressed as Betsy Ross. "I feel not unlike the early Pilgrims, who, standing atop Plymouth Rock after a long and arduous sea voyage, reflected on their journey, perhaps thinking to themselves 'For God's sake—doesn't anybody have anything to eat in this settlement?'"
(Ha. I own two Sarah Vowell books now.)


willikat said...

i live downtown st paul too. i like it on weekends to take a walk. esp. mears park. walking to the farmers market actually ranks right up there in terms of my favorite things to do. maybe i'm an idiot.

e said...

No, not an idiot! I like walking to get there, but I just think downtown St. Paul is quite boring on the weekend and after 5pm or so. I went at 11ish on Saturday and I walked for a good 6-8 blocks (past Rice Park)...most of the people out on the streets were waiting for buses, and hardly any cars went by either. More and more I feel the life of a city depends on its pedestrians, and the route I took...well, they just were not around. Don't worry, I'll still take the walk. (And, Mears Park is lovely indeed.)

tim said...

way to go on making a localvore effort -- it's big here with lots of farms nearby, but everyone everwhere can make a difference just by looking at where their food comes from. Everyone has different reasons for eating locally, be it environmental or economical or both. I like to eat local dairy products because it keeps the farms near me in business and I am supporting the local economy; to me, that's the most important thing. It's near-impossible to do 100% localvore 100% of the time (I love coffee and spices too much), but I think that by increasing your consumption of local (and organic) foods, it helps.

It's really important for community vitality that people think about their food choices and how it impacts their area. You're right -- the life of a city does depend on its pedestrians. Great way to put it.

I'm not as hardcore as some people with the whole localvore thing, but I think it's an important movement that people should really take note of. Here's the group near me:

willikat said...

i agree, we need more pedestrians. but one thing now that i have a dog, i have found that there are a lot of people out... with dogs. :) the other thing we need? venues to walk TO, like a grocery store (beyond eisenbergs), a target, or a coop, or an art supplies store, or another coffee shop on the north side (though i llooooooveee black dog)... we need more STUFF to have more pedestrians. there are a ton of people living downtown...what do you think they are doing if they arent' out and about?? i don't know, myself.

e said...

Hey Tim! Yeah, I don't think I could ever be completely hardcore. Bananas, avocados, coffee and teas...I eat a lot of bananas. Thanks for showing me that site, I found a link from there that looks promising.

willikat, I don't actually live in downtown proper, just close enough. But I completely agree - urban areas are better when people have places to go without needing a car all the time. All I see them building lately is a parking lot. Sigh, urban planning.

tim said...

oh man, avacados. We eat probably 3 a week, mostly because Lidia loves them. She can feed herself with them, so it's great (not to mention messy).

I should also add that the group near me does a twice-a-year "localvore challenge" -- once in the summer and once in the winter. The winter one is very hard to do, considering the Vermont climate and all. But again, I love my tropical foods all too much. If I can get it locally, we'll go for that option 9 times out of 10. Our local co-op has local eggs for sale, and a big chart showing which farms provide them with eggs, what the chickens eat, if they're free-range, if they're organic, etc. It's crazy, but information is power!

And you're right -- damn urban planning. I love the subject, but planners in this day and age are afraid to make walkable areas. When gas hits $5/gallon, maybe more people will walk.