For this month’s Monday Mission, we’re each challenging ourselves to take our dietary habits to the next level. That means on every Monday, omnivores will be going vegetarian, vegetarians will be dining vegan, and vegans like me will be eating within a 100-mile radius – going ‘locavore‘.
To be perfectly honest, this is more difficult an endeavor than I’d originally imagined. My neighborhood market and my co-op are awesome at labeling local options – the co-op even indicates where every item is from – and I swear I see that ‘Oregon’ sticker on a lot of what I buy. At least I thought I did! And living here, I have access to all sorts of amazing produce . . . apparently from California. Oh you, sunny southern neighbor, how you taunt me! So close, and yet just far enough away. I’ll admit it: I thought I was more of a locavore than I really am.
Not that it’s some impossible task. Once I got my bearings, I was able to put together a day of eating that’s essentially identical to any other day. It just cost a bit more (no dollar bags today) and took a little more time and foresight (wandering the co-op scanning for the ‘local’ label).
In the end, it was just like any other day. I ate mainly raw until dinner time, as I’m naturally inclined to do. Breakfast was a tart green apple and a wild blackberry smoothie. I grazed all afternoon on fresh peaches, Bing cherries, and a lovely local trail mix from the co-op (dried persimmons, cherries, and apples, plus almonds, filberts, and pistachios). It’s been a long time since I’ve had a pistachio, mMmm.
Dinner was delicious, an awesome simple stir fry of organic tofu, red bell pepper, fresh string beans, yellow onion, a hot pepper from my own garden, and a bunch of broccoli from my neighbors’. This was all served over a bed of farro grain, which I’ve never cooked before (it was the only local grain available today!), and smothered in Thai peanut sauce from a small Portland company (they are fantastic and [mostly] vegan, you should order from them!). But were the peanuts grown locally? Who knows . . .
Those are the sorts of questions I wrestled with: exactly how far to take this. For example, my ‘wild blackberry’ smoothie also had apples and pears. It was made in Oregon, and this is definitely blackberry, apple, and pear country. But I’m not sure the fruit was sourced locally, just like I’m not sure the peanut sauce ingredients were grown here. I know that my cooking oil, as well as my soy sauce, are not local items. As well, I used a bit of lime juice to top off my stir fry – a decidedly UN-local lime left over from a weekend away. Does that mean I failed? Where is the balance?
As with anything, there’s danger in extremity. I’ll treat my locavore experience like I treated my month of RAW – with my own intuitive rules. I ate 95+% local today, and I think that’s quite an achievement. I really love this Mission, because it’s reminding me how much growing I’ve still got to do. I can always strive to improve this mark I make on the world, and this is a humbling, helpful little lesson.
So, tell me how it went for you. Was your meatless Monday a success? Did you make your first vegan feast? Or did it slip your mind altogether (no worries! who says you can’t do meatless Tuesdays?!!). Let me know how it’s going, guys!