Monday, January 31, 2011

Dishes, dishes, everywhere!

The downside to all of this home cooking... *sigh*
This is only about 48 hours worth of dishes! Time to haul out the mini, apartment-sized dishwasher!

1/28-1/31/2011 - Days 13-16 - Weekend review & CSA Delivery!

Sorry it's been a few days since my last post, dear readers! We had a busy weekend! The Sustainable Eating Project is still going strong though :)

1/28-Friday- DBF & I feasted on the remaining leftovers from the wonderful week of cooking we had. We ate the last of the truffle mashed potatoes & other odds & ends hanging around in the fridge.

1/29-Saturday- We spent the entire day with DBF's family for his mother's wedding! We started off with a breakfast of eggs & toast at home, but ate the rest of our food at the reception. I made a mostly organic, local as possible, dark chocolate raspberry cheesecake for the event which was a great hit!

1/30-Sunday- Farmers' Market day!!! And a good thing, too! Our fridge is looking pretty bare. We've done a great job of eating up our Market & CSA bounty from the beginning of the week & of polishing-off the leftovers! We weren't sure we'd be able to eat a whole CSA box in a week & were actually thinking of going bi-weekly, but our reserves show that a box a week is right about on par with our appetites! We did our usual ritual of grabbing a bite to eat at Fresh Flours in Ballard & eating breakfast while making a lap of the market. Yesterday some friends joined us & we had fun perusing the market together. They even picked-out their wedding bands yesterday from one of the jewelers there! We didn't need a whole lot from the market, but picked up eggs, ground beef, onion, Camembert cheese (which was on super sale!), duck ravioli, & a small truffle. I'm looking forward to seeing what yummy combinations we can come up with this week!

1/31-Our CSA arrived this morning, waiting on the doorstep for us at 7am like magic!

This week's haul:
  • Red potatoes
  • Sunchokes (no idea what these are, but can't wait to try them!)
  • Shallots
  • Gala Apples
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Bosc Pears
  • D'Anjou Pears
  • Broccolette
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Cremini Mushrooms
Not bad for $35! This week we shall feast like royalty! :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

1/27/2011 - Day 12 - Truffle MANIA!

Tonight DBF & I were trying to figure out what to make for dinner when I realized that we still hadn't used the truffles I bought last week at the Farmer's Market. I have honestly never cooked with truffles before, but was sure I would like them because I know I've had dishes at high-end restaurants that included truffle.  I had two small truffle nuggets to use & decided to make truffle mashed potatoes, shrimp & hedgehog mushrooms in a truffle cream sauce, & sauteed collard greens. (Plus a glass of spiced apple cider, yum!)

I found this little guy in the bag of potatoes! Awww, so cute!

Truffle mashed potatoes: Make mashed potatoes (I used home made butter & milk from Twin Brook Creamery). Then I grated a whole truffle nugget over the top (I used a fine Microplane) & stirred it in. (The truffle nugget was probably about 3/4 of an inch in diameter.)

Shrimp & hedgehog mushrooms in a truffle cream sauce: I put butter in the pan, added the mushrooms, shrimp & two good splashes of white wine. When shrimp were fully cooked I added heavy cream & grated my second 3/4 inch diameter truffle into the sauce. 

The greens I just cooked up with some green onion, garlic, more home made butter (what can I say? I love butter!), water & a generous splash of Worcestershire sauce.

I was SHOCKED at how awesome truffles are!!!!! SOOOO DELICIOUS! I can't really find accurate words to describe the amazingness! Honestly, they deserve their reputation as an aphrodisiac (sorry if this is TMI!) While eating dinner I was stricken with the competing desires to A) tear off all of my clothes, B) rub my face on my food, C) jump DBF's bones immediately, & D) all of the above! It's also worth noting that I don't think any meal EVER has had this kind of effect on me. It's's's like eating the most sumptuous chocolate confection but ... sexier.

So, naturally I'm curious as to WTF is going on here! So I Googled "why are truffles sexy?" (You know, like you do.) And I found this website that helpfully explains "that truffles’ musky scent replicates the scent of the male pheromone androstenone." Mmmm, sexy! ;)

1/27/2011 - In Defense of Food


That's the first line of In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan & it sums up the content of the book nicely. I just finished reading it today & I've enjoyed it so much I kept the copy I checked out from the library for an extra few days even though I'll have to pay late fees AND I ordered a copy for myself to keep & reference later. The book is written in 3 parts, one for each of the short sentences above & delves into in depth discussions on how "nutritionism" affects how & what we eat, how the "Western Diet" encourages diseases such as diabetes & hypertension compared to other cultures' diets, and what we can do to eat more healthily. Here I will overview each of the sections. (If Mr. Pollan is out there & stumbles upon this, I really love your work & please don't sue me for plagiarism!) :)

EAT FOOD - So much of what we eat today is what Pollan calls "edible food-like substances". That is, they were conceived of by nutritional science, made in a laboratory & manufactured with the benefits of industry in mind, not necessarily the benefits or health of the consumers. He goes on to outline some helpful rules of thumb to help us identify & eat real food (these are all taken pretty much directly from the book with some paraphrasing on my part):
  • Don't eat anything your great great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food - Think Go-gurt, Easy Cheez, Cheetos, etc.
  • Don't eat anything incapable of rotting - Manufacturing removes much of the good stuff from our food in the interest of making it shelf stable. But the same things that mold & bacteria love to eat are the same things that we should be eating! In other words, don't eat anything that mold & bacteria refuse to eat :)
  • Avoid food products containing ingredients that are A) unfamiliar, B) unpronounceable, C) more than 5 in number, or D) include high-fructose corn syrup - None of these items on it's own is necessarily harmful, but all of them are good markers of what makes a "food-like substance"
  • Avoid food products that make health claims - (Snackwell's anyone?) The healthiest foods are the fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, & baked goods sitting quietly in the grocery store without much ado. Which leads us to the next item...
  • Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle - i.e. Stay away from processed foods!
  • Get out of the supermarket whenever possible - Farmer's Markets, CSAs, u-pick, etc. "You won't find any high-fructose corn syrup at the farmer' market."

MOSTLY PLANTS - Much research has been done into various cultures' diets & the comparative health of their societies. While scientists can't agree on what exactly the X factor is that makes a healthy diet healthy (despite all of the news-stand hoopla), they all agree that eating fruits & vegetables is good for you! Humans are amazingly flexible omnivores with the capacity to thrive & be healthy on a variety of diets: low-fat, high-fat, low-carb, high-carb, etc. The only diet that time & again proves to make people sick is the "Western Diet" with it's highly processed, calorie rich but nutritionally lacking "food-like substances".
  • Eat mostly plants, especially leaves - Not to say that eating meat isn't healthy, but the healthiest people & cultures get most of their daily calories & nutrients from plants. "Flexitarians", people who eat a mostly vegetarian diet with some meat, are actually just as healthy as vegetarians. BOTH are much more healthy than people who get most of their daily calories from meat.
  • You are what what you eat eats too - If the cow you eat was raised on an industrial farm, that means its diet consisted mainly of genetically modified commodity corn (that may or may not have been sitting outside in the rain for a year while waiting to be transported to the processing facility) plus fat additives (usually the rendered fat of other cows) plus a strong antibiotic cocktail to keep the cow alive long enough to fatten for slaughter while it is subsisting on a diet of corn when it evolved to eat grass. Then when you look further down the food chain to the commodity corn that was grown in an industrial farming monoculture with dead soils propped up by heavily applied petroleum-based fertilizers, you realize that you're essentially eating petroleum. YUCK!
  • If you have the space, buy a freezer - I wish I did! You can significantly reduce the price of meat by buying in bulk.
  • Eat well-grown food from healthy soils - All food ultimately comes from the earth and the sun. If the earth it comes from is a nutritional wasteland, the food is not going to be very nutritionally dense. 
  • Eat wild foods when you can - Wild flora tends to have higher concentrations of various nutrients than their domesticated relatives & wild game generally has less saturated fat & more omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Be the kind of person who takes supplements - This item is particularly interesting because in controlled studies, many nutritional supplements don't appear to work. (Especially interesting to me as I take a daily multivitamin & a calcium + vitamin D supplement!) However, people who take supplements are healthier than people who don't. The prevailing theory is that people who take supplements are more health conscious overall. (Though Pollan notes that taking supplements won't hurt you & is probably still a good idea.)
  • Eat more like the French, or the Italians, or the Japanese, or the Indians, or the Greeks - "Confounding factors aside, people who eat according to the rules of a traditional food culture are generally much healthier than people eating a contemporary Western diet." - These diets have stood the test of time for a reason.
  • Regard nontraditional foods with skepticism - Again, eat food that stands the test of time
  • Don't look for the magic bullet in the traditional diet - Foods are more than the sum of their nutritional parts. As a culture we love being told to just "eat Acai Berry!" or "say no to carbs!" because this reductionist approach is simple to understand and easily marketable (read: makes money for the diet industry & food manufacturers). However, nutritional science is not advanced enough to be able to take into account synergies between foods. When you take a food out of its evolutionary context it can lose its nutritional value. (Think of olive oil + tomato or beans + rice. Together they are more than the sum of their nutrient parts.)
  • Have a glass of wine with dinner - Studies show that moderate alcohol intake appears to reduce the risk of heart disease & that red wine especially seems to have unique health benefits. Drinking a small amount of alcohol throughout the week with food is recommended (such as a glass of wine with dinner 4-6 nights a week). Cheers!

NOT TOO MUCH - The third and final section of the book discusses how to eat. As a culture, Americans are generally more concerned with quantity over quality when it comes to food. Think of the MASSIVE portion sizes that are standard in restaurants! I have experience working in the food service industry & have heard customers complain about portion size, correlating it to value. We snack all the time! We eat when we're tired, bored, angry, depressed, happy, grumpy, etc. We eat to reward ourselves for a job well done, as a guilty pleasure that we deserve, to soothe ourselves when we need love. We eat in the car, at our desks, at the movies, in class, and on the way too and from all of these things. In contrast, other cultures only eat when they are hungry! IMAGINE THAT!
  • Pay more, eat less - Better food, in terms of taste and nutritional quality costs more. Them's-the-breaks. But would you rather pay more to the farmer for healthy, nutritionally rich food or pay more to the hospital later in life? Besides, eating more nutritionally dense foods is actually more filling, so you don't need to eat as much to feel full!
  • Eat meals - Sit at the table. Turn off the TV. Think about how your food tastes, smells, feels, looks. Think about how your food makes your body feel. Enjoy the company of your loved ones! Savour the food & the experience. There's no rush! Honor the work of the farmer that makes this meal possible, the animal that gave its life so that you could live, the time and effort the cook spent in the kitchen to put it all together for you.
  • Do all your eating at a table - This goes along with eating meals. No, a desk is not a table (I'm particularly bad about always eating my breakfast at my desk!) I've found that when I pay attention to my meal, I feel more full & don't need to eat as much.
  • Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does - Convenience stores are stocked FULL of processed, shelf-stable food lacking in nutrients and full of saturated fat & sugar.
  • Try not to eat alone - "For people prone to overeating, communal meals tend to limit consumption, if only because we're less likely to stuff ourselves when others are watching. This is precisely why so much food marketing is designed to encourage us to eat in front of the TV or in the car: When we eat mindlessly and alone, we eat more." Well said! I would add that it's also more fun to eat with others :)
  • Consult your gut - As a society, we tend to base how much we eat on external cues. We eat until the plate is clean or the bag is empty. The larger the portion, the more we eat. In studies, when asked "How do you know when to stop eating?", the French replied "When I feel full." However, the Americans had responses like "When my plate is clean" or "When I run out". It takes our brains 20 minutes to get the message that our bellies our full. Slow down & pay attention to your body.
  • Eat slowly - Eat deliberately, pay attention, think about your food & where it came from. This also helps with giving your body enough time to know when it is full.
  • Cook and, if you can, plant a garden - The ultimate way to know just exactly what is in your food is to make it yourself. Plus the work you put into food magically makes it taste better :)

I'll leave you with one of my favorite passages from the book:

"...To reclaim this much control over one's food, to take it back from industry and science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time cooking from scratch and growing any of your own food qualify as subversive acts. And what these acts subvert is nutritionism: the belief that food is foremost about nutrition and nutrition is so complex that only experts and industry can possibly supply it. When you're cooking with food as alive as this -- these gorgeous and semigorgeous fruits and leaves and flesh -- you're in no danger of mistaking it for a commodity, or a fuel, or a collection of chemical nutrients. No, in the eye of the cook or the gardener or the farmer who grew it, this food reveals itself for what it is: no mere thing but a web of relationships among a great many living beings, some of them human, some not, but each of them dependent on the other, and all of them ultimately rooted in soil and nourished by sunlight. I'm thinking of the relationship between the plants and the soil, between the grower and the plants and animals he or she tends, between the cook and the growers who supply the ingredients, and between the cook and the people who will soon come to the table to enjoy the meal. It is a large community to nourish and be nourished by. The cook in the kitchen preparing a meal from plants and animals at the end of this shortest of food chains has a great many things to worry about, but "health" is simply not one of them, because it is given."

Checkout In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan-

1/26/2011 - Day 11 - Cabbage Soup + How to Make Homemade Butter

Wednesdays are my regularly scheduled yoga days, so I usually don't get home until almost 8pm. When I got home all tired & sweaty last night after class I was greeted at the door with the gorgeous fragrance of comforting cabbagey goodness! DBF made the MOST delicious cabbage soup I have ever tasted!!! (I'm so spoiled :) ) Local organic bacon from Skagit River Ranch, local organic carrots, potatoes, cabbage, & onion from our Full Circle Farms CSA box plus chicken broth we had chillin' in the pantry & magic! (Oh & I think it also had butter in it, which is also pretty much synonymous with magic.)

We ate our soup with a slice of french peasant bread from Great Harvest bakery which is delicious, but unfortunately the ingredients they use are not local or organic. Booo! I guess we'll just have to only buy their bread as special occasion treats & buy more sustainable bread going forward.

After dinner we had about 5 serving-sized bowls of leftovers to put in the fridge! YUM! I'm a little daunted by the fact that we have another whole box of produce from the CSA scheduled for Monday, it's already Thursday & we STILL have half a cabbage, a pound & a half of potatoes, greens, a full head of lettuce, green onions, celery, & a bunch of other veggies in the crisper drawer! We need to get moving & eat more veggies!!!!

I also made a big batch of home made butter while watching a movie on the couch last night with DBF. I'm looking forward to the fresh deliciocity this coming week!

Homemade butter recipe:
  1. Pour heavy whipping cream in a jar with a tight lid (leave plenty of room in the jar). This week I used heavy cream from Twin Brook Creamery.
  2. Add a little salt if you like (not too much! I think I use about 1/4t per 4-5oz of cream)
  3. Shake it! Shake it, shake it, Oh oh! Shake it like a Polaroid picture!.. Seriously, just keep shaking! (It's good exercise :) )
  4. After about 20-30 minutes of shaking, peek inside the jar at what you've got going on. You should see at least some chunks of butter forming & floating in the watery buttermilk. Or if you use a REALLY high fat cream (like I did last night), you may just see a jar full of butter which is even better!
  5. If you still just have a puny amount of butter in the jar, repeat steps 3 & 4 as many times as needed.
  6. Drain off the buttermilk (if applicable) & you have butter! Ta-da!
  7. Optionally, you can "wash" your butter to remove any buttermilk residue (recommended if you want to leave your butter out on the counter). To wash butter, use your hands to make a ball out of the butter & run the ball under cold water while kneading it between your hands until the water runs clear. (Note: this will get butter all over your hands :) )
There you have it! It's super easy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1/25/2011 - Day 10 - Breakfast: Granola bars

Sustainable Eating Project does BREAKFAST!

I made some home made granola bars for breakfasts this week. I threw in a whole bunch of dried fruit, nuts, & yes, some chocolate chips we had hanging around the pantry.

I mostly followed this recipe from Smitten Kitchen (whom I LOVE!):

I left out the granulated sugar, peanut butter (b/c I'm out), & corn syrup, so the bars I made are just sweetened with dried fruit & honey (and chocolate chips ;) )

I'll let you know how they are!


UPDATE: The granola bars are DELICIOUS, but I'm afraid they're more granola than bar. Great with milk though! :) I'll definitely be making more in the future.

For dinner tonight we polished-off the last of the roast beef & potatoes from Friday night. Delicious!

1/24/2011 - Day 9 - The Project Continues...+ TACOS!

 Sustainable Eating Project - The project continues!...

So our original challenge of eating all local organic food for one week was a huge success! Not only did we prove to ourselves that we could do it on our regular weekly food budget, we also found plenty of additional reasons to make this a long-term lifestyle change.

First, the food is CRAZY DELICIOUS! Seriously? I would pay $30 per person per meal at a restaurant to get anything even close to as delicious as the food we've been eating has been.

Second, I'm not hungry! A little back-story for you: I have been chronically hungry for as long as I can remember. Even as a small child I would often eat & eat & still never feel "full" or "satiated". Living my entire life with this condition I figured that was how everyone was. It really baffled me how anyone could stick to a 1200 calorie diet when I could eat upwards of 3000 calories a day & STILL feel hungry. This week I have found the cause of my hunger & it's cure!!!!!!!! The food we have been eating is just so nutritionally rich, my body gets full so much faster & stays full longer. We've even started eating off of salad plates at dinner! Tonight I ate ONE taco for dinner! *ONE!* A small one even! Usually I would need to eat 3 to feel even remotely "full" & then I'd usually have to just settle for "bloated" while remaining hungry.

I could go on & on, but those are the two most surprising findings from our week of locavore eating. On to the food!

****Tonight's dinner - Tacos w/ homemade flour tortillas!
Did you know tortillas are super easy to make??? I DIDN'T! Check it:

Taco filling: ground beef from Skagit River Ranch, onion & red pepper from Full Circle Farms, garlic, taco seasoning (which we had in the pantry & I won't be using again b/c I could taste the MSG & weird chemical flavorings in it), lettuce, cheese, refried beans, & salsa.

The beef was so lean & delicious we didn't even have to drain it after browning!

Skagit River Ranch has the happiest, tastiest animals :) Thank you, cow, for being so incredibly delicious!

1/23/2011 - Day 8

Sustainable Eating Project Day 8! Still going strong!

Today is Farmer's Market day, HOORAY! We went down to the Ballard market & followed our usual ritual of doing a lap around the market before purchasing anything & picking up breakfast from Fresh Flours along the way. I had the yummiest chocolate croissant with a decaf mocha! *drool!*

We went to DBF's (Dear BoyFriend's) Mom's house for a lucious dinner of pot roast (more pot roast!!). It's wonderful to spend quality time with family :) We'll be eating the leftovers she sent home with us later this week!

Now some people have asked me how eating out & dining with others fits into the Sustainable Eating Project. Well, this is really where you have to balance ideals & reality, isn't it? Just because I believe eating local organic food is important & it is a choice I make doesn't necessarily mean that is the right choice for everone. I have no right to judge. Getting all evangelical & righteous about your personal choices & throwing it in the face of the people you care for is honestly quite rude. If people ask me about my project to eat sustainably I am more than happy to share my experiences, but I am not going to force the issue. Like the vegetarian Buddist monks that do not refuse meals including meat when offered to them, it is only polite to accept & enjoy the food offered to you & prepared with care. The bonds of love & friendship are more important that ideology :)

1/22/2011 - Day 7 - Egg-in-a-Basket Brunch + Party Junk Food :)

Sustainable eating project day 7! (No pics sorry!)

We made egg-in-a-basket for brunch (cut a hole in a slice of bread, butter both sides, put it in a skillet, crack an egg in the hole, cook both sides) served with apple slices & OJ. I should have taken a picture, but it's impossible to function in the morning before breakfast :) We had an early dinner of leftover roast. Then went to a friend's party & proceeded to pig out on chips, cookies, soda, beer, & skittles! Our bodies' reactions to the first processed food in a week were more pronounced than expected. Wow what a sugar rush! All I'm going to say is that my digestive system is getting it's revenge on me today ;-P

1/21/2011 - Day 6 - Beef Pot Roast

Sustainable eating project night 6!

Pot roast!!!! The roast we got from Skagit River Ranch is SOOOO delicious! It has the fine-grain texture of steak! I cooked it up with red potatoes, onion, carrot, garlic, rosemary, a liberal splash of Merlot, Worcestershire sauce & garlic salt. Served with a hunk of Puglese bread from Essential Baking Co. to soak up the yummy juices :)

1/20/2011 - Day 5 - Leftover Chicken Quiche w/ Sauteed Greens

Sustainable Eating Project night 5!
(Last night, night 4, we just had leftover soup which I didn't think required a picture)

Leftover chicken quiche with sauteed greens

I cooked the greens up in a skillet with butter, onion, garlic, rosemary, & Worcestershire sauce, then added crumbled feta. Unfortunately the feta just melted & created a gritty sauce. It was wonderful except for the feta! Oh well, live & learn :)

Tomorrow night, pot roast! Mmmm.....

1/18/2011 - Day 3 - Chicken Soup w/ Homemade Noodles

Sustainable Eating Project night 3!

I have to admit I almost forgot to take a picture! I pulled some leftover out of the fridge to show ya :)

I used the chicken carcass to make broth last night. This evening I heated it up, threw in the last of the chicken meat, onion, carrots, garlic, some canned chicken broth (that was just sitting in the cupboard so it's totally in-bounds!), rosemary, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, & fresh home-made egg noodles!

SUPER DELISH!!!! Plus we have a CRAP-TON of leftovers. Seriously, I think I made like 12 servings or something crazy. Well, I guess that just means I don't have to cook tomorrow night! WEEE!!!

My thoughts on the Project so far: Organic/free-range/sustainable food is OMG SO TASTY!! It's really wonderful knowing exactly what I'm eating & where it came from & the food just. tastes. better. Seriously! However, it's also very time-consuming cooking dinner from scratch every night. Geoff has been a trooper keeping up with the dishes, though! :) Also, our $100 regular weekly food budget that we spent at the farmer's market seems to be holding up pretty well. There's still plenty of food in the fridge to get us through the week! Hooray!

1/17/2011 - Day 2 - Chicken Apple Quiche Experiment

I guess I'm calling this "quiche"?? ... yeah....

1 cup leftover chicken cut into tiny pieces
1 honeycrisp apple cut into very fine slices
1+ cup thinly sliced carrots
4+ ounces sharp cheddar cheese (I also topped it off with some leftover shredded "Mexican" cheese we had hanging around)
4 eggs beaten with a generous splash of heavy cream

Quiche in the style of Lasagna, layer apple slices, chicken, carrots, cheese, egg mixture, apple, chicken, carrots, cheese, egg mixture, rinse & repeat until your out of stuff. Put in the oven at 425 for 15 min, lower to 35 for 30-40 min. It's done when the apples & carrots are tender & the cheese is all golden & crispy...mmmm

OK, I know it sounds gross & I was completely ready to throw this away if necessary, but it honestly was REALLY GOOD! Next time I'm going to add some caramelized shallot, I think. The apples gave it surprisingly little sweetness. The carrots were the sweetest part. The chicken & butt-ton of cheese made it nice & salty. Pretty good for completely making this up off the top of my head! :-D

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1/16/2011 - Day 1 - The most delicious chicken IN THE WORLD!

Sustainable eating project meal 1: Roast free-range chicken w/ fresh Rosemary & Thyme, mashed Desiree potatoes, roast brussels sprouts w/ garlic, & a creamy chantarelle chicken gravy. Top it all off with a local Chenin Blanc from Silverlake winery :) I think our first meal was a success! SO DELISH!

 Close-up of the deliciocity:

 The chicken drippings were WAY salty due to the recipe I used for the chicken calling for a brine. D'oh! I didn't think about that! I added some raw potatoes & a little lemon juice to try to cut the saltyness a bit. It worked out pretty well & was balanced nicely by the lightly seasoned mashed potatoes.

This is our girl! We got her from Skagit River Ranch & she is SOOOO tasty! We had breast meat for dinner tonight, but there's so much meat left! I have big plans for at least 2 more meals from this bird! I was surprised at how much more "chickeny" tasting the meat was over industrially produced chicken. YUM!!

Welcome to my Sustainable Eating Project!

Hello, dear ones! My name is Erin & I have recently embarked upon a journey to eat sustainably in my life. I started recording my progress on Facebook & after only a week decided to start a blog! I hope you enjoy reading about my experiences :)

First, what the heck started this whole Sustainable Eating Project idea? Well, a while back my boyfriend (DBF or Dear BoyFriend) & I made the switch to organic milk. We drink a fair amount of milk & were vaguely aware of the existence of harmful hormones & chemicals in industrial milk, so we just randomly decided to start buying organic milk one day. It was just SO delicious that I was inspired to learn more about organic agriculture & how it differs from industrial agriculture (& how my milk could possibly so much more tasty!) I started by reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and was SHOCKED at how harmful industrial agriculture is for the earth, for the plants & animals raised by industry, & ultimately for us, the humans at the top of the food chain. (I've since been working my way through a stack of books by various authors on sustainable eating & the environmental impact of industrial agriculture.) I felt sickened by guilt of being part of the system & betrayed by Big Agriculture whose powerful marketing & strong lobbying power in Washington spread a message that all is well! "A calorie is a calorie, an apple is an apple! Why pay more when they're the same?"

A little over a week ago, I had the crazy idea to see if DBF & I could eat entirely from the Farmer's Market for an entire week while staying within our regular weekly food budget. DBF didn't think we could do it & balked at the potential increase in expenses, but agreed to give it a shot. He's wonderful like that :) I dubbed our little adventure the Sustainable Eating Project & started posting about our adventure on Facebook. Seven days are up & the experience was wonderful! My next few posts will reprise my original Facebook posts so that I can really start this blog off from square one. :)