Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hardcore local

Read Nano's previous post to find out where I'm coming from with this one. After he brought up the idea of elitist local eating, I just had to share what I've been thinking about lately. I think it's connected...or maybe just a scary glimpse into my psyche.

I've had to take a lesson from my yoga teacher and try to let go of my attachment to this Eat Local Challenge. It's easy to get down on myself when I feast on pistachios, boxed crackers, and Washington cherries while at a music festival (yesterday), but the point of all this isn't to feel guilty- It's to eat amazing food and think about where it comes from. It's to make changes in your life where you can and accept where you can't (can you tell my whole family goes to AA?).

I've found myself watching someone eating an avocado and thinking, "Jeez, doesn't that person know how far that traveled?", like I wouldn't be slathering it over my toast if I weren't doing this challenge. I tend to do this when I'm trying to make a change in my life- I get all snobby about it in my head. I think it's a protective mechanism of sorts, like a way to cheer myself on. "You wouldn't eat an avocado or drink those imported sodas, either, Liz. You would have grown your own raspberries and drunk filtered tap water," the voice in my head says. This method doesn't work so hot, though. Instead, I end up too proud when I eat local and too guilty when I don't. And years of therapy have taught me nothing if not to avoid attaching your self-worth to what you eat.

So I'm trying to let loose a little (this doesn't come naturally to me) and be more forgiving. So what if I was eating out of a cooler yesterday and ate cherries from far away? I did drink Pepin Heights sparkling apple cider, made in Lake City, MN. And I brought along some Holy Land hummus and Whole Grain Milling Co. chips, too. Not 100% local, but not too shabby for a quickly thrown-together picnic.

And today's another day of eating and another chance to work as much local food as possible. It might be 50% or it might be 90%, but I think the point of this challenge is that we're all trying. Our intention is in the right place and we're gaining insight into how we eat, our expectations about food availability, and how challenging it can be to change our habits. So whether it's a fancy-schmancy gourmet meal or a bag of chips, we're doing awesome.

Having everyone's different experiences on this blog is super important and makes it so much more interesting. So don't forget to post, everyone.

E__ly- this means you! We want to see those onions!


nano said...

Well put.

Incidentally, I am dying for some crackers, myself.

Liz said...

Let's make some!

nano said...

I think that's a grand idea!