Meal-planning is an important part of our week. It allows us to be more prepared and relaxed with regards to our nightly meals. As locavores, it also makes eating locally much easier because we take the time to figure out what seasonal foods are available and how we can use them. If you live in a similar climate (we’re in Southern Ontario, which is a pretty classic upper-midwest climate) then you should sign up for email updates or check out the facebook page or twitter feed and compare what you’re eating with us!
Ever since the school year began I’ve felt busier than ever. Which is strange because I figured with one of my assistants in school three days a week that would give me a bit more time to get things done. However, the addition of walking to school twice a day for drop-off and pickup has made the hours in between feel constricted and rushed. I try to use those hours to run errands, get work done on different projects, do activities with my Youngest Assistant, and get dinner prepared. I have been writing blog posts for the Waterloo Region Food Systems Roundtable and Bailey’s Local Foods. This has taken some precedence over this blog. Part of my reason for beginning to blog in the first place was to be able to join the conversation here in Kitchener/Waterloo about local food so writing for these other sites is a natural outgrowth of what I’m trying to accomplish here on this blog.
Just what am I trying to accomplish here, anyways? I realize there are already plenty of sites that focus on local eating. But the thing about local food is that since it’s local each place that is written about is unique. There are other places in North America with similar climates to ours here in Southern Ontario, with similar foods being grown, but they are not the same as this place. Therefore the foods that we have access to here in the Waterloo Region may or may not be the same as elsewhere. My main focus has always been to share a little bit of what I’m eating so that you can see what eating local looks like here and hopefully be inspired to find out what it would look like for you, wherever you live.
Here’s where we live, yes this was a few days ago…
Regardless of where you live, the task of eating local is ultimately the same everywhere and involves a dedication to eating more whole foods, cooking more from scratch, and preserving seasonal foods to enjoy them all year. At times it is quite a bit of work, but the payoff is worth it. Feeling connected to the place you live through your food gives a sense of community and involvement. It gives purpose to eating beyond just filling your stomach. For me eating local is not a political or ideological decision, but rather related to my need to belong. As a newcomer in this community and as a stay-at-home parent my connection to this place might be limited to my home and neighbors, but my commitment to seeking out locally grown and produced foods has opened up a whole region to me as my community. It is good to be connected to the growers of my food. It is satisfying knowing where things came from. In a world in which the most information usually given about a product’s source is “Made in China” it is a relief to hand money to the person that grew my vegetables. It is satisfying to pull a loaf of bread from the oven and even more satisfying knowing it was made from organic flour grown and milled in this region. And if the act of eating isn’t to satisfy, then what is its purpose?
Speaking of eating, that’s what this post was supposed to be about. Here’s our meal plan, essentially a recap of the last week. What are you eating? How much of it is food that was grown or produced locally? Is eating local worth it to you? It is to me.
One of the easiest and tastiest meals from last week, can you figure out which recipe it was?
Linking up at Menu Plan Monday.