Yesterday I ate a cheese sandwich and strawberries for lunch, and leftover chicken and navy beans/lamb's quarters for dinner. The cheese was hoop cheddar, purchased from a vendor at the Greensboro Farmer's Curb Market, who told me that it is produced in Ashe County, North Carolina. The seven-grain bread was from Ninth St. Bakery in Durham, N.C. and I bought it at Harris Teeter, one of the few local products I could find as I trolled the grocery store earlier this week. The herb mayonnaise was my homemade stuff, and the crisp tennis ball lettuce from my garden made a tasty alternative to boring old iceberg lettuce. The strawberries from the curb market were sliced and tossed with a bit of non-local organic sugar, one of my exemptions.
Today, I had a slice of Nora Glanz's spinach quiche, bought from Tate Street Coffee House. Nora sells her tarts and quiches at the Greensboro Farmer's Curb Market, and last Saturday she told me that she buys her ingredients from the other farmers at the market whenever they are available. And I had some salad from my garden with homemade dressing.
For liquid refreshment this week, iced tea with mint from my garden, organic fair-trade Bolivian coffee from Tate Street Coffee House, and Carolina Blonde beer, produced in Mooresville, N.C.
Tonight, I have to do something with this Carolina white shrimp I bought at Harris Teeter Tuesday afternoon! Yikes, I forgot about it and it is way too expensive to waste. I admit that it doesn't smell too wonderful, but I soaked it in organic tamari sauce and lemon juice (both exemptions) at lunch in the hope of redemption. If it's edible, I'll stir-fry it with some snow peas and carrots from the garden.
Speaking of seafood, I did not have my handy-dandy wallet-sized seafood watch guide from the Monterey Bay Aquarium the other night when I was at Bert's Seafood Grille. As I wrote before, the waiter said that the local choices were flounder or grouper. I checked Oceans Alive today and discovered that neither are good environmental choices. I managed to make one of the worst ones - grouper - and Sandy paid a lot for it! Not only that, I found that the extra money I spent on this wild caught Carolina white shrimp would have been better spent (ecologically speaking) on U.S. farmed shrimp. Most farmed fish (such as salmon) and imported shrimp are produced in shocking, filthy conditions - the facts about them would eliminate your appetite for them forever. But not all wild caught seafood is best. And according to reports I've seen, "organic" means nothing when it comes to seafood.
Vegetables, fruit, dairy, poultry, and livestock are pretty easy to make decisions about, but seafood is very, very complicated. It changes according to the method of harvesting, country and the type of fish or shellfish. It's lucky that we have these guides available to us. So I'm not going to be as concerned about local seafood from now on. I think that it is more important to make the most sustainable choice.