A little over a month ago, I made a pact to a completely local diet. I defined local, set some boundaries for myself and started out on my quest eager to meet the challenge. I am reluctant to say I have completely failed. Rather, I just amended the rules a bit everyday.
Truth is, even in the local culinary bounty of Ithaca and the Finger Lakes region, it’s not only expensive but also damn near impossible to commit to an entirely local diet. It’s expensive: My idea of ten dollars a day could barely buy me enough calories to sustain my already thin figure. Add to that my incredibly busy and demanding schedule (hence the reason I have not written in a while) and I am basically a glutton for disappointment.
Am I disappointed in myself? Not entirely. I did make some strides. I still question my everyday food choices. Should I go for the chicken tenders at Terrace or should I opt for the salad bar at Trillium that offers local condiments? Being that I am a Hotelie and that I rarely leave Statler (except for the saving hour out of everyday when I make the great escape to the Ag Quad), my local food options are limited. Yes, I could eat Miyake sushi everyday (and support a local business) but I have this aversion to raw fish ready to consume after sitting in a plastic box for several hours prior. Plus, tuna isn’t exactly sustainable.
I have consumed a great deal of fantastic local beverages (of the elixir variety). I am a Riesling fanatic and I have been known to drink Finger Lakes Gin on the reg. In fact, as I write this letter to you, I am indulging myself with some much needed Eve’s Cidery Rustica (which is delicious and local!). Even still, I haven’t had the chance to make it to the Farmer’s Market in far too long. Unfortunately, it will soon be closing and my sources of beautiful local produce will dwindle. Add to that my dwindling bank account and one can only lose hope.
I guess the real purpose of this challenge was to make conscious food choices. I have wasted less, eaten less processed foods and have made an honest effort to stay true to my commitment. Maybe I should just grow all of my own produce, live off the grid and really live up to my Loco Locavore title. Could be an idea for the spring semester … or not. Nonetheless, this challenge has opened my eyes, alarmed my conscious and has made me rethink not only what I choose to eat but also what impact my simple everyday consumer purchases mean to the bigger picture. Will my affair with gummy bears contribute to global warming or cause the next major natural disaster? That’s a hell of a lot of power to give them.
It’s not over,Austin, The Loco Locavore
Original Author: Austin Buben