My family did a “buy local” challenge where the goal was to spend money only on local items for a day.
We bought several items made or grown in Malibu and Los Angeles and the balance came from Northern California.
For breakfast we had organic strawberries from the Thorne Family Farm in Malibu and organic blueberries, blackberries and raspberries from Driscoll’s in Watsonville. Yogurt from Brown Cow Farm in Antioch, bread from La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles and butter from Sierra Nevada Cheese Company in Willows.
So far so good!
Except mid-day, I realized there is no local coffee! Hot water with honey was not quite an adequate substitute for caffeine!
Dinner was the highlight of the day. Organic, sustainably farmed chicken from Petaluma Poultry and vegetables from One Gun Ranch in Malibu — cooked with Malibu olive oil. And to drink — a delicious Semler cabernet sauvignon.
A great end to “local day” was sleeping outside on the deck under the stars with the fresh air on our faces.
The ethical treatment of farm animals has been on my mind a lot lately. Sheryl Eisenberg of NRDC’s This Green Life has written a great article about what to look for when buying eggs, dairy and meat. I always try to buy grass-fed beef when we eat red meat (although I just learned today that grass finished is also a good term to look for).
And I look for eggs from chickens that are pasture raised. The animals deserve a better life and we need to protect them. Plus it is healthier for us if they live in better conditions and don’t need antibiotics because of bad living conditions.
An idea my husband came up with the other day is to buy only local items one day a week. We are lucky because our market has a pretty good selection of fruits and vegetables grown in our area. And we can drink wine from a vineyard nearby or water from our tap. Best of all, we can watch the stars from our deck that night!
Taking inspiration from the Olympic swimmer, Natalie Coughlin, our next goal is to grow some of our own food!
Please let me know if you try a “buy local” day in your area and how it went!