We’ve been eating locally (mostly) since the beginning of the year. Being from Toronto, we are lucky to have numerous year-round farmers’ markets. A quick search on our resource page shows 19 local food suppliers within 10 km from my house. And yet, I find it difficult to maintain this local eating lifestyle. It was easier when I was on maternity leave - Ella and I would have daytrips to farmers’ markets and specialty stores during the week. Now that I’m back to teaching, I’m exhausted at the end of the day, and I still have hours of housework and lesson planning to do. The only time we have to shop for grocery is late at night and on the weekends. The 24-hr Dominion down the street is just so tempting, we shop there more often than we’d like to. Sometimes, I just don’t have the time or energy to go to the market or the specialty stores. At the same time, I get frustrated shopping at the big supermarkets. The local food selection there is very limited, and the organics section looks pitiful. Just last weekend, I had to throw out half a bag of organic onions we’d bought the week before - they’ve gotten rotten and moldy. I don’t know if it’s because the non-organic produce has chemicals to make them last longer, or that the organic produce sits on the shelf for longer, I find the quality of organic produce at big chain grocery store to be of poorer quality.
Anyway, I can’t wait for the new season of farmers’ markets to start and I count down the days (24) to my first CSA share from Plan b Organics. I look forward to the summer months where I’ll have more time to garden, shop for food and try out new recipes.
What has your local eating experience been like? What are your tricks to “stay on the wagon”?