Saturday, June 30, 2012

Seasonal produce at last!

Since I started blogging I have been grocery shopping by starting in the meat department and seeing what looked good/affordable.  But there is finally enough local produce that I will be switching to starting in the produce section.  Which got me to thinking about meat and dairy and their availability locally.

I was a vegetarian for years, and one of the main reasons was I thought it would be much better for the environment.  There is no question to me that factory farmed meat is very very destructive for the earth. I am increasingly certain that pastured meat is actually much better for the planet than annual row crops.  Pasture encourages diversity, perennials have the deep nourishing root systems that hold water in the soil and prevent erosion, etc.  In the winter, given the choice between local humanely processed and pastured meat and dairy or row crops shipped in from who knows where, I have been focusing on meat.

But now it's summer, real glorious summer, and I can focus on produce.

I will put a new shopping list in the side bar later today, I am heading to the store now.  But here is my plan:  Start in produce and select a weeks worth of local produce.  (Well, this week I am only shopping for a few days, we are heading to a convention for 5 days.)  I will try for a variety of colors.  My emphasis will be on greens and aromatics, but if there is anything starchy or any local fruit I will buy those too.  From now till the fall I am going to attempt to only buy local produce.  This will naturally limit or change what I can cook, and determine the shape of my other grocery choices.

Because the cows are out on quickly growing summer pasture I am going to also emphasize local grass fed dairy options.

I will end at the meat counter and select whatever looks good for grilling or other quick energy conserving and heat minimizing cooking methods.  Though, the crock pot doesn't heat up the kitchen too bad and you could always stick it in the entry or a bed room or something.

A few center of the store staples like tea and coffee, beans for the vegetarians, and some dark chocolate and I should be set.

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