I guess I run now

or I’m trying to anyway.


Food on the brain…

but not how you might think, maybe.

I drove back from the UP yesterday & the most I have to report is…I didn’t, repeat didn’t, stop at McDonalds. At all! For me, that’s a success story. But my restraint actually had nothing to do with my diet…I didn’t eat there cause…well, it was easy, really, but let me ease into this discussion.

I did stop for a sub in Gaylord, but I otherwise I munched a PB&J from home, blueberries, nuts, & local strawberries.

On the trip home I had this amazing convergence of ideas about food. I get these weird plans when driving a standard 9 1/2 hour drive turned 11 hour drive because of stupid holiday traffic. But this plan I like…a lot.

So I stopped for the strawberries (which were sold on these card tables all along the road in Chassel & beyond). I’ve never been a big fan of the strawberry before, never really saw the point, or understood what all the fuss was about until about 3 years ago when hubby & I passed some kids selling strawberries along the road in Hancock. We were walking back from campus, it was terribly hot, the poor kids looked miserable sitting out on the sidewalk, and hubby wanted some of the little berries. What the hell, we bought an oversized pint for about $4.

That’s when I discovered that the things I’d been eating for maybe 30 years were not strawberries at all. Let’s call what I’d been eating all those years ago “strawberry-like food product.” Sure,  they looked like strawberries, but they tasted like nothing, and they tasted nothing like the fresh, local strawberries these kids were selling at the side of the road.

Then as I munched my strawberries yesterday, Barbara Kingsolver was no the radio talking about her latest book, a work of non-fiction about her family’s year-long experiment with sustainable living…eating off their own land & buying only what’s available locally.. Nice idea, but not a realistic plan for me.

And lately I’ve been thinking about what I eat & how it arrives at my local grocery & wondering if I couldn’t do something similar to what Kingsolver & her family did, only on a much smaller scale. But my cheese is Danish or French or Wisconsin…and my wine (well, my favorites are from Michigan, but some of it) is from California, France, Italy, or Australia. Today as I was shopping (no farmers’ market til Saturday), I found my tomatoes are from Florida, asparagus is from California, blueberries are from New Jersey, (they were even selling strawberries from California), and on and on and on.

So I get my pick of any food I could ever want any time I ever want it. But my food travels more than I do: bad for the environment, bad for the local economy (and gawd knows Mich’s economy can’t take any more hits), and bad for me.

So I need to tap the collective food wisdom of this group. Soclose, how did you freeze the strawberries (cut or whole? any special warnings I need to know about)? What things do ya’ll save or freeze? What old recipes do ya’ll have for stuff like butter or herb teas or fruit wines or pickles or jams or whathaveyou? I’m looking around my kitchen & thinking, “no, I won’t give up coffee or olive oil,” but I can find ways to preserve what’s locally available in the summer so I don’t have to eat tomatoes flown into Detriot from Brazil in the winter…right?

Anyway, I’ve gotten amazing recipes, snack ideas, and inspiration from this group. Now I’m looking for ways to help me make more environmentally & nutritionally sound food choices.

Update: oaky, I’ve created a separate page for your Sus-SANE-ability ideas and recipes. I hope this works out! Please post a comment with a recipe or idea there or post a link to a recipe or idea on your own blog & I’ll link to it. I’ve posted a few “recipes” of my own there, but I’m looking for stuff I don’t know how to do or don’t know about.

Filed under : General
By bigprof
On July 7, 2008
At 12:40 pm
Comments : 4

4 Comments for this post

feathers Says:

I love your local food plan. It’s how I’ve always wanted to be – and should be, since I have an acre here to do stuff with. I used to belong to a group called the Self-Sufficiency Society and we were all into keeping chickens for eggs and growing our own veggies and stuff. I don’t think there’s much better in the world than to be able to pick your own sunwarmed fresh fruit and veggies and serve them up.

Couldn’t add to your sus-SANE-ability page, but I wonder if there’s something like rentachook in your local area? http://www.rentachook.com.au/ there’s nothing better than fresh eggs, either. The difference between what a hen lays and what you get in the supermarket is about the same as the difference between those strawberry-like food producs and what the kids were selling on the card tables.

eryn76 Says:

I’ve thought alot about those things as well. I would love to start a balcony garden with some of those items (tomatoes, peppers, herbs, etc) but I will have to wait until fall to start some of those since i missed the season and it’s too hot now. It’s hard to buy local items here in FL though. We get strawberries earlier than others (Feb is season for us — the ones we get now are from CA), for some reason we get oranges from CA (they don’t taste as good as the ones from here) and our tomatoes have salmonella. Which is why I want to grow my own.

As for your question about freezing berries: you can freeze them whole. Lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze them. When they become frozen, you can transfer them to a bag. That way, when you want them, you won’t have a frozen blobby mess. You can take one or however many you need. That goes for any sort of berry.

tylerdurden Says:

Love it… Sus-SANE-ability! I’ll be reading your page closely for new ideas, etc. As a vegan, I’m definitely interested it making choices and changes that positively impact the environment for the better of everyone, but sometimes I get overwhelmed by the “big picture” because the food supply chain is just so wicked complicated! But that shouldn’t stop me from thinking of it as a continuum — small changes add up and it is the journey that counts!

m3at49 Says:

Interesting! Got me thinking and here’s some things I do, and this was before I became aware of where all my food came from. 😯
I bottle my own homemade salsa, deeelish! Local tomatoes, onion, green peppers and the bonus of making it to your taste! Mmmmmmm.
I also blanch and freeze veggies locally grown and from my garden. There are some good sites which tell you blanching times for each type of veggie and the freezer life. Just search ‘freezing vegetables’. Flash freezing (on cookie sheeet) after blanching, like Eryn recommended for berries, is best method to retain flavor and texture. These sites will tell you how to do it all! So easy, 😆 or I wouldn’t be doing it.


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