Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Get Ready
Eat Local Challenge Coming in May

Last year, a group of food bloggers participated in an Eat Local Challenge in August. This year, an Eat Local challenge has been called for May. You will see soon, references to a blog dedicated to the challenge. In the meantime, I want to give advance warning for all who may also want to participate.

The thing is, you may want to participate, but May is not an easy month to dive into eating local in Chicago. Most people around here have not aligned themselves with a farm like Genesis Growers to get spring items. Only a few farmer's markets open in May and late May at that--Green City and Evanston. Moreover, there will not be a lot of produce for sale in these markets. If you expect to get by on local food in May, in the Chicago area, without any preparation, you better enjoy rhubarb. Still, there are many things you can do to participate, if not explicitly, in spirit.

First of all, pay attention. You can find certain local products with a bit of poking. For instance, Caputo's sells Michigan apples. Even Whole Food's has Wisconsin potatoes. Try to plug these things into your larder. Second, think beyond produce. Milk, eggs, cheese, meat can all be sourced from local providers. Last, think about some of the rationales for eating local. Reduce energy consumption, eliminate waste. So, what can be bought in bulk. What packaging can be ditched? As I say, even if you cannot eat local products in May, you can abide by the spirit of the Eat Local Challenge in May.

To help people participate in the Eat Local Challenge in May, I will be posting various resources over the next couple of weeks.

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