This challenge will be a bit of a--well, challenge because I live on a very tight budget. Perhaps because of that I'll be able to provide some interesting and perhaps useful insights.
Right now my challenge is in the planning stages. I've been trying to decide whether to do the 80% or start off slow with the 50%. I think I'm leaning towards the latter. Most of the produce that I eat currently is the bruised and broken produce that won't be sold and that I don't have to pay for. It cuts down on my personal costs but I'll have to make some sacrifices in this challeng in order to cut down on environmental costs.
My first question in this challenge was how should I measure the 80% or 4 out of 5 things that are local. Should it be by weight, volume, item? I initially thought item for item but that's not practical since a dash of cinnamon is not exactly equal to a head of lettuce. In the end I'm going to use volume to measure my 4 out of 5 (or 1 out of 2) things. That way I can still have a latte: espresso (obviously not local) counts for about 1/4 of the volume of the latte, milk takes up the rest of the space and the milk used at the juice bar, where I work, is local.
I've also put a lot of thought into what is considered local and not local. Must the item be locally grown or just locally processed/produced? I think if I really want to be true to the ideal of eating local, then I'm going to strive to eat locally grown and produced things. That basically eliminated coffee, chocolate, tropical fruits and most spices and teas. It puts into question honey (although, I don't think I'll be a stickler on that), locally produced bread and chips, oils, and some grains and beans.
I can, however, find local eggs, cheese, corn tortillas (is the corn used locally grown, though?), various meats (although, I don't eat red meat), in-season veggies, and wild rice. That's all I have written down so far. I think this list will grown once I actually take my first shopping trip as a local-vore.
While this will be a challenge, I'm up for it. Especially since this year I will be growing some of my own veggies and herbs at my local community garden! I'm excited to share my experience with everyone on this blog too! It should be a fun ride :)