Hello! I have missed you! I am in the madness of August - the high season for college campus life as another academic year unfolds. I am not alone - hundreds of my colleagues are prepping for another year and I am lucky enough to play a role in that. Good luck to you all and to everyone putting a kid on a bus, sending a teenager to high school, or waving good bye to your college student...a bittersweet time!
For me, August means back-to-back travel to colleges around the country, very few days at home and living out of my suitcase for extended periods. Fun, in a weird "I am independent and can live out of my car when I have to" kind of way, tiring nonetheless. Grateful for all the work, for friends who let me stay at their houses and their Mom's houses along the way (you know who you are) and for being able to afford staying in decent hotels (Hotel Bethlehem!) - oh and a car that works and gas in the car and my family and my friends and my Blackberry and Facebook....
And THIS August, happy to be evolving into a Localvore! (as I snack on locally made granola and NY grown peaches - yum.)
It continues to be an interesting food month...I am secretly glad it is almost over! The usual stress of travel (getting myself out the door and into the car or onto the plane is a repeating miracle) along with packing all my own local food has taken my left eye twitch to a new level.
I will need a break from beets, potates and corn for a while and am looking forward to adding almonds, walnuts and black beans, rice, etc. back into the mix. It is definitely easier to hunt and gather at the store than picking, preparing, cooking and freezing at home. A lot of work to eat local - and worth it! I feel like my whole outlook on food has changed...a few learnings and new habits here:
1. I do not eat fast food anymore ("If it comes through your car window, it is not food" Michael Pollan in Food Rules). 'Nough said.
2. I read labels more than ever for source of origin...so many foods only list the distribution location - I mean, I don't need to know the Farmer's name (but how cool would that be?) - it would just be nice to know if it's been shipped 15 miles or 1500 miles. My favorite question to ask in the grocery store is "Where is this from?" Always an opening for a food comedian to respond with something smart like "the back room cooler" or "here" (pointing to the display case)...I appreciate the humor and it always opens a great conversation about food - so all good.
3. Healthy, fresh food can cost more, seems to rot more quickly and always tastes better (except for carrot top tea). Given that I am not buying new shoes, my frig is full of $4.99 per pound (or more!)chicken, equally pricey goat cheese and highly prized and expensive organic eggs. Flip side - a lot of fresh food costs less than processed food - like carrots. BTW "Baby Carrots" are big carrots shaped into "baby" sizes by machines. Oh.
4. Movie theatre popcorn is not local. Darn. Oh and it's really NOT butter. Sorry. Also Twizzlers are not local (or real) or Starburst. SweetTarts. Oh and SunChips - even though the bag is compostable - are not local. (Confession)
5. Butter is a dairy product but has no lactose - yay! I heart butter.
6. Bunnies can squeeze through tiny openings in garden fences. They like lettuce.
7. There are a lot of people working hard to eat locally! A nice network of smart people to meet who appreciate our farms. FOOD COMES FROM FARMS.
So much more to learn...one month is not enough! I may repeat this challenge in the winter - hope I love to eat root vegetables - a lot. Should really freeze some more peaches...and make a lot more pesto!
Anyway, back on track with the blog - more to come tomorrow...promise. I know your day cannot start without my blog, so rest easy...
Have a Nothing New Day! Kristin