Monday, August 20, 2012

We've got Ripples!

We went home to see our family this weekend and there were multiple examples of little ways that our push for local/sustainable/fair/healthy (organic?) food is wearing off on them as well!
Both of our parents mentioned that they found a place to get meat that was from a farmer and local. Apparently they've found a place to get pork products locally and they seemed genuinely interested and excited about it!
My dad made a point to cook organic "hot dogs" for lunch. I say "hot dog" because they were really more like sausages or mini-brats. They were pork meat only and very tasty/meaty - nothing like a hot dog. This could lead to even more ripples b/c my brother really liked them. He eats hot dogs several times a week. Just that one switch in his diet from generic brand industrial hot dogs with all the preservatives and chemicals to the all-pork locally grown version could be huge for him and his health, right? 
Both of our parents are using more whole wheat flour in their cooking. In fact, I was lucky enough to receive a made-from-scratch birthday cake with made-from-scratch frosting that was over the top delicious. (Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, no less!) It was many times better than anything you could get from a grocery or a box. It also tasted better because it had a lot of love in it. I know the time invested in making it from scratch versus picking it up from the store, and I appreciated not only the flavors of the cake, but also the time and effort that went into making it especially for me. It was like a 2nd gift in a way. (The first gift was a box of walnuts! What a treat!)

I don't know how many people we have talked to about our food. I don't know how many people we have encouraged to visit Green Door or Produce Place or try making their own bread/cheese/yogurt, etc. As I am learning to can/preserve food, I'm sharing successes/failures with others and encouraging them to give it a go as well. It's been interesting to see how often the topic of food comes up and we have the chance to spread the word about where to get great local food. We had some friends over the other night who think very similarly to us about food and the need for local, sustainable foods. We had the best time chatting about where to get various ingredients/foods and how to cook them up and enjoy them.  It was great sharing our experiences with local food and hearing theirs as well. 

Honestly and truthfully, we started this adventure purely for ourselves and mostly out of curiosity. This wasn't begun as a crusade to persuade anyone else. Even this blog is more about us having a way to document our experiences, keep track of recipes & putting up plans, and note where/when to get various things so it will hopefully get easier to eat locally each year. We also wanted to share the blog with others that might be trying the same thing as a word of encouragement that it's possible and a positive thing to do. We are hoping people might find our little corner of the web and send us tips on where to get great local food in Nashville. 
In the beginning we wondered where our food was coming from. We realized we weren't asking enough questions about our food. We didn't know what things we could get locally and we were curious to find out how we would feel if we switched a more local diet. As a result we have lost weight*, gained energy and confidence, learned tons of new things about food and how to cook it (thanks to the fabulous folks at Green Door Gourmet and the internet), and we've been genuinely a bit happier all around. *I could go into a lot more detail about the changes in our health in the last 2 months, but I don't want to sound like an infomercial!

All that to say, when we decided to switch to local food, we didn't think about our little adventure effecting anyone else. It is great to see these unexpected ripples and wonder what other ripples or (dare I say it?) even waves may still lie ahead of us?

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