Monday, August 24, 2009

Food "Rules"

I live with my boyfriend in a tiny apartment in the moderately sized city of Rochester in upstate NY. We decided, upon moving here, to be more conscious eaters. This means, for us, that we follow some rules when it comes to selecting our food and eating it. They aren't always strictly enforced (at the moment), and are subject to change. We're just dipping our toes in the whole foods, local foods water, so to speak. But here they are:

1. We buy local food whenever we can.

This means we go to farmers' markets in the city and farm stands around the city. This rule is fun and easy in the summer and early fall, but nearly impossible during the long, frigid winter here.

2. If it comes in a package, we don't buy it.

In other words, we buy whole foods, not pre-processed, pre-packaged foods. We'd rather do the processing of foods--cooking, blending, mixing, preserving--ourselves, and control what gets done to and added to what we eat.

3. We buy organically grown food if it meets our first two rules.

The first two rules are more important than the third. We would rather buy from a farmer down the road who can't afford organic certification than from a certified corporately run agri-business in California. It is important, if it's available locally, to eat food that's grown sustainably and animal products without antibiotics and growth hormone.

Exceptions to the Rules

We are okay with buying items from far away that can't be or aren't produced locally--and can't be replaced by something that is. These items (for now) include coffee, tea, chocolate, flour, sugar (though we replace with honey when possible), various spices, rice, and olive oil.

When winter arrives we will have to buy non-local produce. We have not had the resources this harvest season to preserve, freeze, or dry the amount of produce we'll need for the winter. Unless we plan to eat jam and pickles until June.

So, to sum it up, we are in our early twenties, with a limited budget, in a city, in a tiny kitchen, in the soon-to-be frozen tundra of the northeast, and we are doing this! You can do it too!


  1. Leeners! You're such a FOR CHANGE feminist =] Hahaha

  2. the public market is open in the w-w-winter!!

  3. The public market is open all year! And it's a really good place to go for winter goods like apples, pears, root vegetables, meat, and dairy. But the other produce they have out of season is shipped in from far away.