Thursday, May 1, 2008

MaLoFoMo- Day 1

I have to admit that I was initially wary of this challenge. Oh, I know, you're probably thinking that's silly. How could local food be more daunting than public transit?

And in one sense, it's not. But on the other hand, at least when I started the public transit challenge I had the basic idea of where to begin. I may have never tested my route, but I knew the route that would take me to work. I knew what I had to do.

By contrast, I was fairly clueless as to where I could find local food. I had visions of long, pointless searches for local wheat or local beans. What about rice? What about chocolate? Or spices? What about eating out?

Ultimately, it was Green Bean who calmed me down. "You could try to eat all local produce for the month," she suggested, adding, "It takes a bit longer to find sources of local animal protein and other products."

Local produce, huh? Well, sure. I can do that.

And slowly it started coming together. The farmers' market I went to also sold eggs and cheese. I found local milk (in reusable glass bottles!) at Whole Foods. Bread, I was told, was a problem. There aren't really any local sources of wheat per se in Los Angeles. However, there are a few well regarded local bakeries, so even if my wheat wasn't local, at least the baker would be.

And then I found the locavore's pledge:

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.
If all else fails, at least don’t eat at McDonald’s!

Pretty reasonable, right? That's how I'm approaching this month. If I fail, and I probably will fail, at least you'll know, I didn't eat at McDonald's.


Anonymous said...

I am finding bread much easier to make now that I am in the swing of it. I found a really easy sourdough recipe that requires no kneading or fancy equipment. Can't get more local than your own oven!
Sourdough Recipe
You can make 4 smaller loaves instead of 2 big ones if you can't eat a big loaf before it goes stale.(Without the preservatives homemade bread goes stale much faster than the pickled store version.) The loaves freeze very well.

If you can't find local grains, King Arthur is a great little company.

Anonymous said...

Oh...and you can swap out white flour for whole wheat. I do the starter in white and then use whole wheat for the rest. I have tried the starter in whole wheat but the yeast just doesn't seem as crazy about it.

Sam said...

The locavore pledge was a godsend! I was panicking about never being able to eat chocolate or drink coffee and when I saw the pledge I was so relieved!

I can't wait to read your posts on this month's challenge. You'll get to do all the grunt work for me so when when I move to L.A. I can just refer to your posts :)

pink dogwood said...

I loved the locavore's pledge :)

I bought a bread maker last thanksgiving and haven't bought any bread for myself. Even my kids finally switched over recently to home made whole grain bread. The only thing is that I bought the organic ingredients online and they are definitely not local. But the bread is very locally made.

I wanted to do this challenge as well, but thought I couldn't. But if it is just produce, then maybe I can because the farmers markets in our county start this sunday. I wonder if it is too late to join if I start this sunday?

Organicneedle - can I have the sourdough recipe? I have failed twice so far to make the starter :(

pink dogwood said...

organicneedle - never mind - I see the link for the recipe :)

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

I'm printing that pledge out!

ruchi said...

Orgie, thanks for the recipe. I'll take a look. Never made bread before! And yes, King Arthur is great though I prefer to use the bulk organic flour at my bulk food store.

Beany, that's actually why I put all the links up on the right hand side. There isn't one big concentrated source of info for eating locally in Los Angeles, and I'm hoping to start compiling.

Ping Dogwood, sure start eating locally whenever you can! My challenges are all more personal challenges than group challenges, but everyone's free to play along at home!

Cae, I know, good words to live by. Or eat by. Or both I guess. :)

Mad Hatter said...

Cool challenge! Can't wait to hear more about it. And even I can manage the "don't eat at McDonald's" part! :-)