Purchasing and preparing food locally: it's easy and I'll show you how.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


You know when you go to the eye doctor and he gives you two options? "Tell me which is better, A or B?" Generally it gets clearer and clearer with each option. The more we buy and make locally, the more it becomes clearer and clearer which option is the best, that's best for our health, our wallets, our families. Which one is better? A or B?

Option A

Image comes from this website

Option B

Image from this website

How about these?

Option A

Image comes from this website

Option B

Picture of my veggie drawer

It may seem like something out of a movie, but it is possible. Buying and making locally is possible. It all comes down to which looks better to us: A or B?

Be Smart

The main culprit keeping us from buying and making food locally is convenience. It is easier to buy a carton of ice cream than turn a quart ourselves. It is easier to buy a can of beans than to soak and cook our own. It is easier to buy bottled salsa than make fresh and I won't even bring up the need to first plant and grow the tomotaoes, cilantro, and peppers.

Fresh Salsa - 90% Locally Grown, 100% Locally Made

So convenience is the bad guy. How do I buy and make locally, but do it all conveniently? The answer is Be Smart. Let's face it, no matter how much you do or don't love cooking, in the end you want to sit down, eat, and enjoy time with those you love. Appliances. They make it possible and convenient to soften those beans, make fresh ice cream, and chop that salsa into shape so your time can be spent laughing (and getting compliments on the best dinner ever). Best of all, appliances help to reduce the amount of production done on an assembly line in a factory somewhere and increase it in your home which means fresher food, more control on what goes in your food, and more money in your pocket.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream on Locally Grown Papaya

When talking about appliances, I recommend the essentials. The best appliances are ones that do double or triple duty by having more than one function. For example, I don't have a rice maker but I do have a CrockPot because it cooks dinner, cooks rice, cooks dry beans, and even does bread. Another essential is a BlendTec as it functions as a juicer, food processor, mixer, and is just plain cool. I also love the ice cream maker recently purchased for my family as we can make ice cream for a treat splurge or sorbet for a healthier dessert. Whatever appliance you buy- Be Smart - make sure it functions well for you and lightens your load.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Small Decisions

If you've read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" you may be feeling a lot like myself, "How in the world could I possibly go a month, let alone a year, eating entirely locally grown food?!" You are not alone. The good news is you don't have to commit to a year of eating food only grown and processed within 50 miles of your home.

Instead, just make a small decision to eat and prepare locally what you can. Start small and go from there. If you rarely cook dinner, start with one homecooked meal a week. If you don't buy local produce, get online and see when the next Farmer's Market is taking place in your area. Start small and do what you can. Flour (grain) will never be grown locally in my area. That doesn't mean I have to go without flour for the rest of my life. Instead, I focus on what I can buy and make locally. So the flour in that focacia bread isn't local, but the herbs, cheese and oil can be purchased locally and the ingredients can be combined and baked locally- all in my kitchen!

And for any of you that haven't read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" - order it now by clicking on the link to the right. It's a great book and will make you fall in love with dirt and vegetables and life all over again!