Update: 7 Days 100% Local now has its own blog! Check it out!
We are going to do it again.
Our last adventure in 100% local eating was a really good experience. Three months later I still find myself talking about it, digesting the lessons learned, and thinking about how to do it again. Even though it was not the easiest week of eating--eating 100% local requires giving up quite a few things--it was really good week of eating. Dinner table conversation was more interesting. The meals required more creativity with less options. We recognized just how dependent on imported products we actually are. It was more expensive. It required everyone in the family to be on board with the effort. It required us to do it together. There are not many things that are truly whole family projects, but this one is a good one.
How to get ready for 7 days 100% local
1. Prepare. Knowing how to prep food. Learn how to cut larger pieces of meat into smaller ones. Learn how to make bread with wild yeast. Learn to make pasta. Learn how to take rough produce and turn it into ingredients to cook with.
2. Prepare. Know where to shop and get your food from. Most stores don't carry local food and many don't label their food well--even New Seasons and the food co-ops were not easy to navigate. Shopping at the farmer's market is a good way to go, but it is very expensive and not always open. If possible, find restaurants that make 100% local items on the menu. I couldn't find any in Portland. It would have been really nice to be able to eat out at least once during the week.
3. Prepare. Get mentally ready for some limited food choices. My friends who are gluten and dairy intolerant skip meals all the time because they aren't sure about the ingredients. 100% local can be the same, unfortunately. Until local food becomes more standardized and the prices come down to earth, eating 100% local will feel like you have a serious dietary restriction. Just say you are industrial-intolerant.
I'll update this post with resources as I come across them. If you want to join us in going 100% local for 7 days, let me know!