We've mentioned a few times on this blog that our ultimate food goal is to grow our own or source all of our food directly from the person who grows it. I'd say maybe half our meals adhere to this, and I feel like we're getting closer all the time. But there are a few things holding us back: chocolate, pasta, rice, some nuts, and beer.... That's basically it. The problem is that these things are staples in our diet, and it's hard to let go. It's also easy to slip up when what you're aiming for is just a vague set of ideas rather than an actual commitment, with rules.
|100% community food meal - this is what we're aiming for|
Recently, we received a kick up the butt which has prompted us to take the plunge into committing to what we're calling the Community Food Challenge: I've been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Now don't get me wrong. I don't believe that a local wholefoods diet is going to cure my cancer, but I do believe that eating as well as I possibly can, not giving in to my ridiculous sugar addiction, and cutting out alcohol is going to help me as I wade through months of treatment and recovery. I'm going to be having a mastectomy, and some combination of radiation therapy, and/or chemo. It's going to be crap, and it's going to be massive for our family. But one of the good things that's going to come of all this, is that we now have a pretty bloody good reason to cut the tempting and delicious crap from our diets.
So here are the rules for our Community Food Challenge:
All food in our diet is now going to be sourced directly from people in our community who are growing or value adding food products. Fruit and veg (that we don't grow ourselves), olive oil, and wine will be bought directly from the farmer who is growing and processing the product. Likewise for meat, though we currently have a freezer full of home-kill lamb and pork, and a paddock full of chickens and ducks, so we'll probably be fairly un-challenged on that front.
Value-added products, like bread, are also allowed, when we purchase them from the person making them. In our case, for bread, we're lucky to have a direct relationship with the lovely folk of Wheatley Lane Bread, so that's delicious sourdough taken care of.
We will also be supporting our local food co-op, Candelo Bulk Wholefoods by purchasing Australian bulk wholefoods from them. We realise that this might be seen as a kind of cop out, and that a lot of what we'll be buying from them won't be truly locavore in a purist sense. But we feel it's important to support them as an institution, because of the service they provide to our community, and to local growers (like us!) whose products are stocked in the shop.
So far, I'm feeling pretty good about the rules, because a lot of what we eat already falls into these categories. The things that don't fall into these categories - chocolate, beer, refined sugar, white rice etc etc - are things we don't need anyway, and things that certainly aren't going to help me to be as strong as I can through the crazy system onslaught that's heading my way.
So as far as I see it, the Community Food Challenge is a win win: we get healthier, and we move closer to our eating goals. The Big C (as in, cancer) prompts a deeper commitment to the other Big C (as in community). As much as I wish it wasn't cancer that made me do it, I am happy it's happening.
We're going to be doing a bit of documenting of this food journey as well, making note of the challenges and the pleasant surprises, so stay tuned for recipes and other musings!
|99.9% community food breakfast. I used sumac in the sauce, but I know this is going to be just as delicious without the sumac. Recipe can be found here|