Sunday, January 9, 2011

A moment leads to .........

I was standing in Barnes and Noble in downtown Seattle just before Christmas with 2 books in my hand. One was to be a gift from David to his Dad (if only I had remembered I had already bought something for David to give to his Dad..... ).  One book was called 52 weeks of bread (or something like that) a new bread recipe for each week and a lot of writing on the art of making bread.  Being the carb lover that I am I liked the look of this book immensely.  The other book was "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver subtitled "A year of food life".   It sounded intriguing. As a family we have endeavoured to grow some of our own food in the spring/summer months in our backyard - we even had some success!
Veggie garden year 1 - 2009
So I bought the Kingsolver book...... I think that will prove to be a seminal moment..... a moment that leads to other maybe important things.
Within pages of starting the book Allan was both tut tutting and laughing - enjoying the candid writing of Ms. Kinsolver and being concerned about the facts she was laying out.....  To be honest we have know some of these alarming things about our food sources for some time, at a superficial level at least, and we have been concerned enough to try to buy more local produce and to cook from scratch more often and limit the sodium and fat and sugar in our diet.
Our kids both attended an environmental leadership camp at UBC in past summers and have pushed us to consider our carbon footprint etc.  They got us started on making compost and they are a big part of the veggie garden project. (It must be said they love to eat too so they readily engage in any and all discussion about food).
Over our steak dinner on Friday night we discussed beef production! The startling fact that 80% of the US beef supply comes from 4 feedlots sent me heading to google to find some natural, grassfed, happy beef close to home.  Of course in this sprawling metropolitan city in Canada it was easy to find and we happened to be heading in that direction for David's soccer game anyway - it seemed providential.
We certainly found all we were looking for and made some purchases in the name of testing it all out - sausages / rib eye steaks / ham / lamb shanks and ground beef.  We had 2 kinds of sausages last night with some of Allan's amazing home made fries and grilled veg and the verdict ...... very good indeed.
lamb/feta/tomato sausage and "boerewors"
We were feeling quite self-satisfied... how good were we? - all this natural eating and growing what we could, making compost as an urban family- yadda yadda yadda.......
AND then as I was lying awake last night thinking (its a curse) I was reflecting that while this is indeed an important and good thing to eat more natural organic food it is going to take time, energy and money to do. And really these first steps are the tip , I think, of a vast iceberg of other sustainable and accountable choices we could/should make.
If we go this route for meat products we will have to eat less meat - $13 for 2 ribeyes is more than double the steak pack we usually buy at Costco and will feed us half as many meals. (and can you imagine if I overdo them or something drastic....horrors). We can buy more local produce but this is the pacific northwest in winter...... how do we get the variety?
And what about dairy, eggs, juice, bread etc......   ARGHHHHHHH
But as my husband so aptly put it on his Facebook this morning "Small steps are the way to begin".  Making better choices today than we did yesterday and sourcing local food, planning our veggie garden to be more productive year round  - that we can do.
Our national psyche is sometimes defined as "As Canadian as possible under the circumstances" so to prove we are well assimilated we will do this food thing as often and as well as we can under the circumstances.
And to think we could have been having a new kind of bread every week........... :)
Summer 2010's bounty from the backyard

1 comment:

  1. Imagine if we had locally produced organic flour and yeast and then we could make bread with a much smaller carbon footprint and no doubt better for us than flour produced using pesticides or herbicides that cut down on nutrients etc. Small steps...on the road to locavoria!