Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Local Food in My Kitchen This Week

In my sidebar I keep a running list of locally grown or produced food currently in my kitchen. Since some people may be reading my blog posts as aggregated elsewhere, they won't see what's in the sidebar, like my quote of the week and this list. So I'll try to remember to include those items in my posts at least some of the time. And for you aggregate-readers, remember to stop in and see the full site sometimes.

So, this week in my kitchen you'd find:
  • New potatoes and green beans, from last week's trip to the farmer's market. Gotta use up those beans!
  • Jam made from strawberries from Lorence's U-pick
  • Bread from the Brick Oven bakery (but purchased at the co-op)
  • Cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden
  • Milk, yogurt, butter and cheese from Minnesota and Iowa dairies, from the co-op
  • Organic eggs from Owatonna, MN, from the co-op
  • Rainbow chard, green onions and a small melon, all marked as local at the co-op
  • Salsa Lisa (a staple in my kitchen) - made in Minneapolis
  • Callister Farm free-range chicken (boneless chicken breast) from West Concord, MN, from the co-op
Some of these items invite a discussion of what should be considered local food. Bread, for example. Wheat isn't grown around here that I'm aware of, though quite a bit of it comes from the Dakotas, which are traditionally two of the top wheat-producing states. I'm not a hard-liner. If the raw ingredients aren't readily grown here, I see plenty of "local" value in transporting them here and adding economic value to them by turning them into staples like bread that are consumed right here. So if it's from the Quality Bakery or the Brick Oven or other local bakeries, or if it's cereal made at Malt-O-Meal, it passes for local in my mind.

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