Day 7 was just breakfast and lunch--omelet and leftovers, respectively.
The Challenge was worth it for the things discovered alone--same-day corn, farmers' market potatoes and garlic, etc. It's also left a distinct impression on my eating habits in the week since I supposedly finished. Some of this is good, and much of it is inconvenient. I have a whole new appreciation for flour, salt, olive oil, and cinnamon. I definitely wouldn't want to eat purely local on a long-term basis. On the other hand, most of the things that can
be found locally are better that way.
The thing I enjoyed most about the Challenge was non-factory farmed meat. I really don't want to go back. This is slightly awkward, as I can't actually afford all-local-free-range-organic. Both Nameseeker and I need regular meat for mood maintenance, so we're not about to go vegetarian. However, I have
been experimenting with less-meat options, and more vegetarian meals--it's possible that we can
afford a diet with better-quality meat, but less of it. So far I've managed to go a week without buying conventional meat, but this has involved a certain amount of freezer-raiding, plus a convenient sale at Whole Foods. I've been experimenting with a cooking style that's a bit different than what I'm practiced at, and we'll see how that goes. But replacing the factory-farmed stuff in our diet with local-free-range-organic has definitely become a long-term goal.
On a more purely aesthetic level, several sorts of processed food have stopped looking edible to me. This is probably healthy, but definitely awkward. For example, prior to the challenge I generally grabbed a Lender's Bagel on my way out the door in the morning. They didn't taste like much, but they woke up my metabolism and that was all I needed. Now, after a week of omelets, my body wants real food in the morning--except that I don't want to keep getting up early to make eggs. So far I've been baking something breakfasty on the weekends and using that for breakfast--the last of the cornbread first, and coffee cake this week.
The most notable thing about an all-local diet, unfortunately, isn't the taste or the ethics. It's that it's freaking expensive. My food budget doubled for the week of the challenge. Admittedly, I had to buy a lot of staples that I normally wouldn't have been purchasing all at once. On the other hand, I got most of my meat for barter, so it probably evens out. If I didn't make a professor's salary, I couldn't have afforded to do this even for a week. The fact that I had the time to cook from scratch in the evenings helped, too. I am not the first person to point out that it really sucks when the average person in this country can't afford a diet healthy either for themselves or those producing it. But, you know, it sucks.