Day 13–Wrapping My Brain Around A New Way of Grocery Shopping

English: An Italian shopping list for groceries.

When we undertook this challenge to eat locally and sustainably, I knew there would be changes–changes in the food we eat, the way we cook and where we buy our food. But I hadn’t adjusted my process for shopping. So, today, I ran into the first of what I will assume to be many errors.

My grocery shopping strategy usually involves coming up with a weekly menu of dinners. Not only does this help me make sure our week has a good balance of proteins and vegetables, but it helps everyone in the family contribute to selections and alleviates the nagging “What’s for dinner?” question. From that weekly menu, I develop a shopping list of foods I need. And here we have the problem. My process, you see, is backwards.

I developed my menu and list based on what I found in the farmer’s market LAST week. In the meantime, we’ve had several freezes. So I found myself at the farmer’s market with 30 minutes left of my lunch hour and a list that was only partially achievable. What to do? I could have bolted and headed for the nearest Trader Joes, but no. That would be wrong. And then I’d have to tell you about it.

In this case, I made a blind stab at what I thought might work. And it will work, because, well, it has to.  It will be interesting to see what comes out of this. And so, I have learned a lesson: when eating seasonally, buy what is fresh and good, but be flexible.

I’m trying to figure out how this will work next week, but we’ll see! Any ideas?

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