Eat Like Me Like Not Eating Like Me

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January 25, 2011 at 10:40 am

Rob Gardner

Remember, the idea is to post more, to chronicle the eat local adventure.  Build demand through demonstration.  Never stop with one Local Family post but follow the story.  See how the Local Family eats local.   Click back if needed.

Except for now.

Don’t eat like me.

Do you know what I had for dinner last night?  A bag of Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar potato chips.  Man, I love the glutamate heady flavor of those.  And did I follow that with a nice salad or something.  No.  I grabbed the Godiva chocolate bar I had hid from kids ages ago.  Still in a daze from a weekend of little Vegas sleep; yes returning to the poker table at 2 AM was an excellent idea–and the redeye home, my body craved the comfort of chemicals.  That awful dinner followed an equally awful lunch of Kenny’s Ribs, because, well I was also tired at lunch time and the mini rib tips cost only $2.99 on Mondays.

Before the chips, the tips, the Vegas, there was a meal out at Rick Bayless’s Xoco, which was probably local, and there was, snuck in there, local beans, local bacon, and even local beets, but in total, the meals these days have been too many out, too many convenient, too many make do, which all equated to a lot of eat like I say not as I did.  It was just that kind of week. 

It’s more than just a Happy Stomach who doesn’t want to be labeled locavore.  The biggest strike people give against eating local is that it seems so doctrinaire, so limiting.  After all, the most famous account of eating local, the 100 mile diet of J.B. MacKinnon and Alisa Smith is equal parts pleasure and pity as their wonderful British Colombia bounty is tempered by turnip sandwiches and poop filled grain bags.  Is eating local akin to ultra-marathons, something to gape at with perverse admiration but hardly anything “normal” people can do?  That’s just too common of a thought.  All the time, there are people like Sharon who say I’m happy shopping at a farmer’s market, maybe even take up canning, but don’t make me do what they did.  I aint going no 100 mile on you.

So don’t.  This Local Family has never tried to eat within 100 miles of Chicago.  Man, that would be limiting, but we don’t even try to live 500 miles from Chicago.  Nothing stops us from drinking coffee or eating citrus fruits.  Yet, we call ourselves locavores.  We believe in the eat local system, even if we don’t eat it all the time.  You can too.  Don’t focus on how much local food you had last week.  You may have eaten more local food than I did last week.  The really simple lesson is, you don’t have to eat local each meal to want to eat local every meal.

Please, follow along.  See how we shop.  How we set aside.  How we made do with what we have.  Yet, don’t expect that we will fit some image of vulgarity and stridency.  If we don’t live for months on end on potatoes and sprouts, do we expect you too?  Eat as we do because we don’t always eat like we say we do.

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One Comment

  1. Love your way of looking at it. I feel the same way. Trying to be local, but it’s not a set of strict rules or anything. But it’s definitely enjoyable!!

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