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My Eat LESS Challenge

(post, Shannon Lundin)

I have just finished week 1 of a pledge to eat local, ecologically sustainable, seasonal, slow (LESS) food. For one week out of the month, for 6 months, my meals will consist of food that meets at least one of these categories.  I have been inspired by the “Locavore” and “100 mile” diets and books I read recently (The Omnivores Dilemma, by Michael Pollan and Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver). I wanted to adopt some of these practices into my lifestyle. Also, I have recently moved to California from Vancouver, BC and I am interested to learn about what foods are grown nearby, who’s growing them and how. Here are my goals for the diet:

Local eating. Try to get as much as my food from as local as possible. I did not set a 100-mile limit but that is my goal, especially with produce. I have started a vegetable garden so hopefully I will be producing some of my own food soon.

Ecologically sustainable eating. Support agricultural production methods such as organic, permaculture, integrated pest management, grass-fed, free range, shade grown etc.

Seasonal eating. Basing meals around fresh, seasonal produce. I want to get to know what the “real” seasons are for produce. (Eventhough in California this is a lot more flexible than it would be in Vancouver)

Slow eating. Preparing meals and snacks from fresh local ingredients rather than purchasing processed goods. Cook meals featuring fresh seasonal produce and trying things that are not part of my usual cooking routine.  During the 6 months of weekly challenges I want to learn how to make yogurt, cheese, and bake breads.

Challenges: I think my biggest challenges will be refined carbs, like bread, granola bars and tortilla chips which I eat almost every day. I am a grazer and tend to snack a lot through the day to keep my metabolism up.

Exceptions : My exempt  items are coffee, sugar, and flour in limited quantities. One cup of organic, free trade coffee in the morning but no afternoon coffee breaks! Organic flour, oats and sugar for cooking and baking. I have not been able to find California grown wheat flour.