Eat Local Challenge Summary

I thought I’d give a quick summary of what I learned from my Eat Local Challenge this past month, then (thankfully!) move on to other subjects (or not!)

Biggest challenge: Definitely eating out. There are precious few options for eating local food in restaurants. In fact, I have found that restaurant staff are genuinely puzzled by the question. The good news? Masoud and Annah Awartani have re-opened Zaytoon, a Mediterranean restaurant that serves delicious local and organic foods from 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. M-F. It’s at 301 N. Elm Street. Phone: 336-373-0211. You may know them from the curb market – they are serving the crowd lined up at the Dough Re Mi booth.

Biggest thrill: Harvesting my first artichokes, that I grew from seed, beginning last winter.

Biggest disappointment: Not having the energy and/or time to try more new things, such as making my own pasta, or to bake bread.

Most fun: Eating rabbit stew and mulberry parfait at Bistro Sofia.

Greatest discovery: Lamb’s quarters are the best weeds ever. Much tastier than spinach, free, and easy to prepare.

Greatest discovery II: Making your own mayonnaise is really easy with a blender. And it makes a great base for dips, dressings, and sauces.

Biggest accomplishment: Breaking the Pepsi One habit.

Dish I made for the first time ever: Carrot cake.

Food I liked best: Lamb’s quarters and navy beans.

Food I liked least: The first salad dressing I made, and several of the salads were on the bitter side.

What I missed most: I didn’t eat any tomatoes at all. Period. I decided to be strict on this one. Dark chocolate. But then, I always miss dark chocolate, every minute of every day that I’m not eating it.

What I ate when I fell off the wagon: Chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate cake, and crab/cream cheese dip on crackers at an evening work reception when I was stressed out and starved. Mama’s chicken tetrazzini and Vidalia onion/cream cheese pie on Mother’s Day weekend. Collard greens, grits, and salad at a restaurant that I thought served local produce, but didn’t respond to my questions then or later. More crackers. A spoonful of ice cream. Pimento cheese sandwich at another restaurant that told me it served local food, but didn’t. Sour cream. Sampled wine and cheeses at a local wine shop tasting (Zeto). But I didn’t eat as many of my exemptions as I thought I would.

What I learned: It wasn’t that hard, as long as I could do my shopping at the Farmers’ Market. I didn’t have to do a lot of complicated cooking. It didn’t break my budget. The variety of food available at the market is remarkable. But if I had had to rely on regular grocery stores and restaurants for local food, I would be quite a few pounds lighter right now.

1 thought on “Eat Local Challenge Summary”

  1. Congratulations on breaking your pepsi one habit, try not to start again, those sodas (though tasty) are devils spawn! Have you heard Michael Pollans going on about sodas? It sounds like you ate really well all month ans you are such an enthusiastic supporter of lambs quarters I am thinking of introducing them to my garden…but not sure it wont be something I regret later.


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