In two days, I'm starting a 100 Mile Local Food Challenge. For ten days, I've committed to eating only what is produced within 100 miles of my home. I can include ten exotics (coffee, thankfully, is on my list) but other than that, it's all local all the time, baby.
I've done a bit of homework for the past month or so to prepare for this challenge. Namely, I tracked down a source for flour, so I don't need to use that as one of my exotics. And I have, of course, been stashing food per usual over the summer months so I have a lot of homegrown canned goods and frozen veg in the freezer. I've been hunting down recipes, too, for things like homemade pasta, bagels, different breads and things to do with eggs (I have lots of eggs). I also have some barter connections, for things like apples, and a good idea of what to eat that is in season, and therefore should be easy to find. I'm planning on hitting the local co-ops for things like local milk, winter greens (arugula, I'm looking at you, kid), and maybe some yummy yogurt.
I am a little concerned about increased food costs, what with purchasing a different milk and whatnot than I usually do, but mostly, I think I'm going to be eating what I've stocked away. I don't eat out much, so packing lunches for work won't be any more an issue than it is any other week. And as far as I know, no one is throwing a party or planning a girls' night out, but if that did happen, I'm opting to join in on the social eating joyousness and say to heck with the local food issue for an evening. Like any other food mantra, being a local food purist could become very off-putting to other folks, and I certainly don't want to be one of those people.
Mostly, I'm excited to try this. The larger group that is participating across the nation during this month of October are exploring issues ranging from lack of local foods to food justice to improved health/weight loss from eating "healthier" local options to converting their neighbors to the joys of local food. For myself, I'm curious to see if, within ten days, is it possible to avoid all foods not produced within 100 miles. I'm thinking it will be, which is as good a hypothesis to work from as any.
Time shall tell, right? I'll keep you posted.