Half half at this stage

This weeks meals have been focused around not only the locavore (local omnivore) idea but also a slow carb meal plan.

First the locavore concept. Wiki explains it in short as “those who prefer to eat locally grown/produced food”. Now when doing a search for this term there are a ton of variations that come back in your search results. I’m trying to keep it simple and true to its original purpose – keep it local, keep it seasonal. Just as we do with many things as humans, the core of the locavore movement has been added to and refitted to suit the needs/agendas of many. For example, some groups propose that taking a product from a local source, shipping across the country, repacking and shipping back can still be deemed as being in the bounds of locavorism. How does that 1) limit food mileage 2) add to the local economy when it is likely the farmer has been paid a minimum where the corporate reaps the ridiculous mark up which is then kept within that city location where the product was packed or into the coffers of the multinational where it is likely the money is sent overseas to their shareholders. Yes, I am throwing wild accusations and huge assumptions out there, but again, stick to number one – keep it local (define for yourself what you deem to be local but don’t kid yourself).

Second – slow carb. This in short means each meal built around vegetables, legumes and protein, with no “white” foods e.g. flour, milk, rice, bread, pasta etc. This results in a meal that slowly releases energy over a longer period (satifised for longer) and no wild swings in e.g. insulin. So far, so good and surprisingly I haven’t missed the milk in my coffee in the morning. I have found having vegetables quite a shock from the usual cereal/yoghurt routine but not disliking it either. I should confess thoug’h that I did get a flat white during the week even though I didn’t get to finish it as I was busy at work. One day a week is binge day when anything goes food wise. I must say though that aside from wanting a proper milky coffee I really haven’t been craving anything significant. Hmmm actually, cheese will be on my list for tomorrow’s binge day.

So how does a slow carb meal plan sit with the locavore experiment seeing as it is not likely that lentils or many bean species are grown here in NZ? There is where the half/half comes in.

It would seem that my plan needs to be reviewed yet again. I was trying to go all out and pretty much have 100% of my plate being sourced within a 100km radius. All or nothing! This isn’t going to happen if my meal plan then also consists of beans highly likely to be imported and that fact that Taupo doesn’t actually produce much in the way of produce within the 100km zone. In fact nil to be said unless you count the backyards of locals. So should my focus be on sourcing as much as I can instead of my gungho all or nothing approach?

To decide this I have to go back to my main purpose or reasoning for going the locovore route. These are –
*healthier eating as the food stuffs should be fresher and better quality as I am eating to the season not chemically stored products,
*decreasing the carbon footprint taken to get the products from source to plate,
*supporting my immediate local economy and producers

By sourcing as much as I can from a locavore perspective then I am at least attempting to achieve these goals. I can truly say at the moment that number 1 has been well adhered to . We can’t believe how much more in the way of in season vegetables we have been eating and also how easy they are to prepare in a number of different ways for a change.

My previous core criteria were:
1. The majority of my weekly main meals must consist of seasonal elements and
2. Seasonal elements must be sourced within a 100 kilometer radius of Taupo
And now:
1. Meals must focus on using seasonal vegetables
2. Locally produced products are to be the priority where available sourced from a 200 kilometer radius of Taupo

Week three

This is way harder than I had envisaged. Surely it can’t be this hard to find out where my food comes from? I am truly appreciating the movement in the UK that set out the providence of many food items in even the supermarket! This is generally OK in the supermarket here (I shop at Countdown) for fruit but the vegetables don’t follow suit. For example I had to work on Saturday so couldn’t get to the markets (they are only on Saturday’s) so we had to get our brocolli from the supermarket. No idea where it was sourced from. I guess I should have asked the staff but trying to find a staff member interested or willing to assist is not such a fun thought. There is also the other vege shop that I mentioned last time that is great at noteing where the products are sourced from but this was shut by the time I got to it.
The next hard area to get any information for is any meat that I buy and also trying to limit what food I buy that is tinned or packaged.
Finally, we have been buying more take out than we should lately due to late night working and generally a lack of a weekly plan due to the late nights. This needs to be brought under control and better managed if I want to do this right. How can I expect anything to change if I don’t change anything?

So the actions for this week:
Visit the last local butcher in town to see where they source their product from and do small shop if within range
Plan our meals for at least the next 2 nights consisting of what we can get locally