An excerpt from May's "New Milk Moon"
The moon is new!! We have moved into the lunar cycle known as the Milk Moon in the Old Farmer's Almanac. This is the time of year when the cattle get to enjoy the best pasture possible. In the San Francisco Bay Area, we have just emerged from an epic spate of spring rains, and the hills surrounding where we live are lush and green.
I have a window to these lush green fields right in my refrigerator: a log of deep yellow butter that I bought at the farmers market. The amazing color comes from the beta carotenes in the grass that is being eaten by the Jersey cows on a local farm. Jerseys are an old-fashioned breed of cow that produce milk with an especially high butterfat content. The cream and butter made from their milk is famously yellow.
I am very glad to be getting this deep yellow butter right now, as I am just beginning a month of eating locally. I am one of the cofounders of Locavores, and we pick a different month each year to challenge people to eat as much of their diets as possible from within a 100-mile radius of where they live. This year the month is MAY. So my first act this morning was to go through my shelves and pull out all of the imported condiments, teas, and canned goods and load them into crates to be stored in the basement until June. I know that if I have them on hand, I will be tempted to use them and I wanted to remove that temptation from my immediate reach.
Take the Locavore Challenge
EAT LOCAL CHALLENGE
What is the Locavore Challenge?
The goal is to eat from within a 100-mile radius of your home. When that isn't possible, attempt to eat foods that come from within your state, or are purchased directly from small-scale farmers elsewhere in the world. Join the Locavore Challenge. Check out the Eat Local Challenge Blog for ideas, support, and answers to your questions.
Why Eat Locally
Our food now travels an average of 1,500 miles before ending up on our plates. This globalization of the food supply has serious consequences for the environment, our health, our communities and our taste buds. Much of the food grown in the breadbasket surrounding us must be shipped across the country to distribution centers before it makes its way back to our supermarket shelves. Because uncounted costs of this long distance journey (air pollution and global warming, the ecological costs of large scale monoculture, the loss of family farms and local community dollars) are not paid for at the checkout counter, many of us do not think about them at all.
Other steps you can take
- Start a Locavore chapter in your community to share information about local food producers.
- Host a local-food potluck. Invite guests to bring dished made form locally grown ingredients. Trade recipes and information about local food sources.
- Commit to making one meal a week with ingredients from local producers.
- Buy a share in a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
- Shop at local farmers markets and food co-ops or find a farm in your area that raises and sells organic meat, dairy and eggs.
Find a farmers market close to you at LocalHarvest.org.
Meat and Poultry
Find free-range, grass-fed meat and pultry at EatWild.com.