Allow me to introduce myself. I am a former catering and meeting planner for a division of Coca-Cola. Now, I am a stay-at-home mom with a husband and two children. We live in the heart of Greenville and have done so for the past 10 years. Our lives are hectic and constantly on the go. I have found that this describes many other people/families in similar situations. This makes shopping, cooking and eating all the more difficult.
Throughout my life, I have tried to stay fit and eat healthy. I haven’t always eaten organic and local. I have evolved especially through the last decade. I am concerned with what we eat, how much we eat, where it comes from and the price. Greenville now has 3 active farmer’s markets: Pitt County Farmer’s Market, Cornerstone Farmer’s Market and The Umbrella Market. Additionally, we have Renston Homestead, Briley’s Produce and other local farms that offer seasonal pick-your-own products within 20 minutes. If you’re like me, time, gas and price all factor in my buying decisions.
A localvore is a person who likes to eat and purchase local products. This is wonderful, but we all know we don’t grow bananas in North Carolina. So being a 100% localvore can be prohibitive and sometimes not financially practical for all levels of consumers. Beef, chicken and other local, organic products can appear and are expensive. I’ll write about ways to make this more affordable. I am concerned about where food comes from and the impact of our carbon footprint. The stark reality is - how can everyone afford to do this? Learning to eat fresh is the first step in the evolution of a localvore.
I plan my meals around what is fresh and within our price/budget. Greenville offers Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Lowes, Piggly Wiggly, Kroger, Fresh Market, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. On Sunday's, I look for the Kroger circular in the newspaper and on Wednesday’s, the other grocery ads. If you do not get The Daily Reflector, all but Piggly Wiggly are available online. I make my buying decisions and plan my trips based around what is on sale. I incorporate the local farmer’s markets into my shopping rounds.
We attempt to stretch meals and eat leftovers in a way that makes them appear new. Let me give you an example. We had fresh corn on the cob on Monday that we boiled and served. We had 3 ears left over. On Wednesday, we cut the corn off the cob, sauteed onions, green peppers and tomatoes in olive oil, then added salt, pepper, cumin and then the corn kernels. We cooked this mixture at a high heat for just 1-2 minutes and served. My daughter assisted with the cooking, and both of my children loved it.
I will share with you the challenges I face to eat local, eat fresh, support our agricultural community and to stay within my budget. It is a challenge. I look forward to everyone sharing and exchanging ideas on the blog.