Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eating Locally- Day 1

So, it's day one and I'm in for an interesting week. Today's market had far less vendors, therefore far less variety, than I expected. What I did expect, considering the point in the Virginia growing season we are in, was a plethora of fresh vegetables. Instead, what I got was tomatoes, apples, peaches, eggs, cheese, butter and yogurt. That’s seven ingredients for the week. What I was hoping for included, at least, onions, peppers, beets, lettuce, collards, garlic, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, eggplants, and maybe even potatoes and melons; all things that I thought I could reasonably expect. The only produce that was offered today that I didn't purchase was raspberries and blackberries.

I thought that this week was going to be easy. And I say that fully well aware of the fact that I'm quite lucky to have food in the first place. All I'm trying to say is that I was hoping that I'd have a few more ingredients to live off of for the next week than the seven that I bought at the farmers' market and the few that I have at home. Speaking of which, as mentioned in yesterday's post, I do have a few things that I can add to my diet for the week. Those things include many more tomatoes, a few more peppers, two or three onions, three small beets, two small eggplants and three or four small potatoes. Luckily I also have basil, rosemary and thyme. Not including salt, the one thing that I’m adding to this experiment, I have 15 ingredients to subsist on for the week. Again, and I can’t stress this enough, I realize what a privilege it is to have such easy access to food.

Before I go on, I want to briefly write about food justice. I’ll expand upon this more later in the week, but for now, suffice it to say, that I am writing this mostly for people that don’t consider their own ability to access food on a daily basis. By conducting this experiment, I’m attempting to document my experience from the perspective of people that have almost complete access to just about any type of food whenever she or he so chooses; myself included. Eating 15 items during the course of the week will be a challenge when juxtaposed next to my ability to go the neighborhood supermarket, which in my case is less than a mile away, and buy food, quite literally, from around the world. Again, I’ll write more about this as the week progresses.

To end day one, I’ll give you some specifics. Today I bought three dozen eggs, or the equivalent of about five eggs a day (that’s a lot). I bought a pound of butter, 44 ounces of yogurt and approximately a pound and a half of cheese, Cheddar and Monterey Jack. I also purchased exactly five tomatoes, five peaches, and seven apples. I took notes as I was buying all of this, unfortunately, I left those notes at work and I’m now at home so I’ll let you know exactly how much these items cost on Thursday. (It was about $70.)

Oh, and just because I’m curious as to how this may or may not effect my weight, I weighed myself before I started. With my shoes off, clothes on, and pockets empty I weigh about 208 pounds; a good 30 pounds more than I’d like. With luck, this week will help me shed that unwanted baggage. Somehow, the thought of eating five eggs a day makes me doubt it…