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Thursday was my first “eat local all day” day. My observations:

1) Eating Local Takes Planning

Unless you do it daily, you will need to think through what you want to eat and where you need to buy the ingredients. I can see that it gets easier and quicker the more you do it

2) Eating Local, at least in winter, costs the same as eating organic

You won’t save money by eating local, unless you are willing to REALLY plan out where and when to buy the ingredients (local farms, canned fruits from summer, etc). But, it costs about the same as buying organic.

3) Eating Local is fun and delicious

Breakfast: Toast, peanut butter and jam (I ran out of time to make the eggs)

Lunch: Ballard cheddar cheese, bread, apple, carrots

Dinner: Cashew crusted trout, sweet potatoes, greens

Snack: Hot and spicy pecans

Cashew Crusted Trout w/ Greens and Sweet Potatoes

There were a few ingredients that were hard to find, including locally made crackers, fruits, vegetables, and I opted out of making fresh bread crumbs with local bread. It also appears the only local vegetables readily available are potatoes, onions, and winter squash. I expanded my definition of “local” to the west coast to include organic apples, carrots and swiss chard.

Overall, the planning and shopping was fun for me and my daughter, the day was full of delicious meals and I learned more about local providers and brands.

And, a special call out to City Peanut Shop who made the day’s eating extra tasty with fresh-ground peanut butter, locally roasted cashews, and locally roasted sweet and spicy pecans.

My friend Janet Hawkins Moore is eating local during the month of January (in Boise, Idaho…not as easy as some more temperate climates). Looking at her first day’s post, it looks like a delicious initiative.

When I first saw Janet’s  post about eating local, I thought “Good idea, and since I already do a lot of local shopping, it won’t be hard”. But, I’m realizing it takes a lot more planning than I anticipated, at least in the beginning.

And, since I didn’t want to rock the boat too much on New Year’s Day, I simply monitored my normal eating (we had some great food yesterday…including leftover cake for breakfast and spicy shrimp for dinner! Yeehaw!) Turns out, only about 20% of the ingredients I used were local (fresh pasta, local milk, local honey) and although I buy organic vegetables from Brown Box Organics and The Boise Co-op, I’m not actually sure if they are locally grown.

So…this will be a learning adventure.

The Plan: Eat entirely local one day per week this month. Observe and chronicle my observations and learnings.

Stay posted! This week’s local day is Thursday. I’ll post my first “findings” then.

Happy New Year!