You are what you eat header image 2

Getting food outside industrial system is a challenge

August 9th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Food selection, local food

challengeSo how about it? Did you try the Food for Change Challenge last week? Even a little bit? I hope so, because I have that cool t-shirt to send to someone.

I know I wasn’t much help in this challenge. I didn’t give you as much notice as I should have, I didn’t give enough guidance, and I didn’t report enough on my experiences.

Still, I hope you’ll forgive me and tell me what you were able to accomplish on your own. The idea here wasn’t that this little exercise would make a dent in the mammoth food industry but that it would make a dent in our communal habit of not putting a lot of thought into our food.

So how about it? Did doing the challenge—or even thinking about doing the challenge—yield any insights for you? Here’s what I learned:

  • Avoiding high-fructose corn syrup is pretty easy for me, as I eat very few processed foods. I get fresh, local and often organic produce from my CSA (Rolling Prairie Farmers Alliance), from the Downtown Lawrence Farmers Market and even from the Community Mercantile (food co-op) and Checkers (supermarket), and I buy local artisan bread that has nothing but traditional ingredients in it. On the other hand, I really couldn’t eat if I left home, or I had to assume that virtually anything I did consume included the ubiquitous HFCS.
  • Except for milk, I don’t do so well with the meat and dairy, especially dairy. I don’t buy much meat and poultry to begin with, and what I buy I usually get from most of the same local sources: the Farmers Market, the Merc and Checkers. But dairy? Well, I may not go for mass-produced cheeses, but I don’t exactly go artisan or local, either, for the most part. I buy Iwig milk and local eggs (from the market or Baumans’ Cedar Valley Farms at the Merc), but cheese, well, hmm. I like the cheese from Goatsbeard Farm, but I just can’t buy it very often because of price. For everyday items, such as cottage cheese or half-and-half or plain yogurt, I usually buy Anderson-Erickson rather than organic or local either because of availability or price. I may try making my own one of these days.

Over the last few years, I’ve moved more and more organic and local products into my grocery bag, which means I’ve trimmed spending elsewhere. I do believe the food current system is a hazard to the health of our environment, of food security and of our bodies. I guess I’ll have to look for more places to cut other spending so that my purchases do vote for a change in the current food system.

Your comment or blog post is your entry

lbshirtOK, now leave a comment below, or write a blog post about the Food for Change Challenge by the end of the day Tuesday, August 11, and send me a link via the contact form. On August 12, I’ll run a post that links to your comments here and to your blog posts. I’ll draw a name from among the entries (that is, from the names of all those who participate), and I’ll announce the t-shirt winner. Even if the shirt doesn’t fit, you can give it to someone it does fit.

Your turn!


4 Comments so far ↓

  • Jocelyn

    Homemade plain yogurt from Iwig milk is so easy and so tasty. Topped with fresh fruit, it’s my favorite breakfast. I highly recommend it!

  • Maxine

    I may not do this to the extent you do, but you have made me so much more aware of the possibilities.

  • Janet Majure

    Hey, Jocelyn! You make it look so easy that I just may have to try it. I actually have the “starter” in my fridge right now. (Everybody, click on Jocelyn’s name, and it takes you right to her yogurt lesson.)

    Maxine & Jocelyn, you are now entered in the t-shirt giveaway. C’mon, folks! How about some more entries. Please?

  • Diane

    My efforts also are limited to not eating many processed foods, buying local, and having local known and organic sources for beef, pork, lamb and chicken.