Saturday, June 23, 2007

Emmie's Back!

I hope my kind readers will forgive my long absence--2 months? can it be? Between pregnancy fatigue and an endless parade of houseguests, sitting down to the computer moved down the priority list to somewhere between having the cat shaved and vacuuming between the couch cushions. My commitment to a greener lifestyle has luckily remained stronger than my motivation to chronicle it. Here are a few observations I've made during my yet short foray into the organic life:

1. Organic, local, and/or healthy food does not necessarily cost more. Why not? I am no expert in agriculture, but I'd guess that transporting those peaches from Chile ain't cheap, at least not as cheap as transporting cherries from the next town over. Plus, I know that the cherries meet US health codes, which we cannot guarantee when dealing with other countries. I'll take my fruit without that side of melamine, thanks.

2. Kids *will* eat that stuff. I know because I have a few. Mine seem to be slowly losing their taste for additives and food-like chemicals, although they still have occasional Cheeto cravings. The munchkins will try anything with enough encouragement, so we have tried about a million different kinds of granola and trail mix with varying results. Being actively involved in the growing and/or purchasing of snacks is a big advantage, so bring them along when you go to the farmer's market and health food store.

3. Once you are used to eating real food, everything else tastes like, well, crap. I spent two days in the hospital following my daughter's birth and found most of the food an unrecognizable chemical and starch cocktail. Granted, institutional food is not meant to be a gourmet experience, but I think they were trying for edible. No such luck. Several guests brought me fast food, which I had trouble convincing myself to eat as well. I was happy to come home just to have a real meal.

So far the most difficult products to find locally and affordably are meat and dairy, but I'm working on it. Darigold is technically local despite being a large regional brand, so I favor them at the grocery store when organic is just too expensive. Meanwhile, I've been incorporating more vegan and vegetarian meals into our diets to keep as local as possible. My latest project is summer soups--recipes will follow early this coming week. Until then, take care of yourselves and enjoy the bounty of summer!