Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A snapshot of what we eat

Here's a quick look at what we ate for breakfast and how far we have to go in the next three months.

Whole wheat pancakes for breakfast.  Simple, made from scratch, topped with local maple syrup.  This is what the kids ask for almost every day.  So where do all these ingredients come from?

Flour - King Arthur Premium Whole Wheat - At least as far away as Kansas, probably farther.  700 - 1000 miles.
Canola oil - Generic - Somewhere in Canada.  700 - 1000 miles
Baking Powder - Sodium bicarbonate from a mine somewhere and corn starch from the Nebraska (probably).  At least 1000 miles.
Sugar - Domino - Somewhere in Florida probably.  700 miles
Whole Milk - our cow - 150 feet
Free Range Eggs - our chickens - 150 feet
Maple Syrup - Adelsberger's Farm - 5 miles

Obviously we have a problem.  If it isn't from our back yard, the stuff we ate for breakfast traveled WAY TOO FAR.  More than half of the ingredients for today's breakfast traveled at least 700 miles.  That's not local.

Solutions we will start exploring. 

Local Grain Mills and Local grain producers.
Switching to local honey instead of sugar (except for fudge making... fudge doesn't set when made with honey.)
Changing what we eat.  If breakfast was scrambled eggs, yogurt, and bottled or frozen fruit, we could have been almost entirely local.

So, where did your breakfast come from?


the inadvertent farmer said...

This morning we had pancakes...the organic wheat I ground come from? The nut milk I made came from nuts from? The honey from our bees, the eggs from our chickens, the baking powder? The vanilla?

OK...I see what you mean, sigh. Kim

Teresa said...

I just found out pioneer sugar is local to us in Ohio :)

Teresa said...

Okay- you can change your eating habits- but then you sometimes feel the "missing out" or "denial" feelings and your mouth will still water for a pancake. You could also try to modify your recipe for pancakes (assuming you can find a local grainery)., Instead of cornstarch/ baking poweder- why not trying to separate your eggs and then beat the egg whites until stiff then add them to your mixture at the end to make a lighter and fluffier pancake. What about instead of adding powdered sugar- you use honey or make a berry sauce using berries and honey or maple syrup. Would you really miss the vanilla? Sometimes we do need to give up certain things- but not without a fight. ha, ha. Not perfect- but just looking at things in a different light.

Alan said...

T.I.F - That's why we are spending the next few months looking at what we use, where we can get it locally produced, and what local things we can use as a substitute. The learning curve will be kind of steep for a while, but once we get through that we'll be fine.

Teresa - thanks for the Pioneer Sugar tip. I'll look at switching, especially for our fudge. As for missing things, part of eating seasonally is enjoying missing things. Strawberries never taste better than those first, just picked berries of the season. Having them year round takes away from the joy. There are lots of ways we are going to change how we eat, but I don't anticipate any long term feelings of depravation (except maybe RR and cheetos.) Enjoyed your thoughts on the pancakes. Altering how we make them, and adding other things to the kids list of favorite breakfast items are steps we are actively exploring.

Pen+Ink said...

Hmmmm - flashback to those first tomatoes of summer that I spent all spring nurturing and willing to turn red, after months of tomatoeless existence it was a religious experience. And I never even knew I like tomatoes!
My breakfast came from the local supermarket. I walked there. Can I just leave it at that?

Alan said...

Pen and Ink, at least you walked. We drive 10 miles to the Super Walmart in our giant V8 truck to buy produce from California or Chile or New Zealand (if we are lucky...) Where you are now isn't the issue, it's where you want to be and what you are doing to get there.

The Adelsbergers said...

We get our milk from a cow share herd near Charm. Owen Nisley's Farm is certified organic, he raises free range layer hens and grass fed Jersey cows. Besides milk and eggs he also has cream, butter and cheese, all certified organic and unpasteurized. All of this just 20 miles or so north of Coshocton.


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