Saturday, October 10, 2009

Food For Thought

Wow - what a week! I will be so happy to have the American Dietetic Association meeting over. I have been working hard to get ready to go to Denver, where it's SNOWING! Don't you hate how hard you have to work to get ahead before leaving town and then you still have to work extra hard when you return, sigh. Luckily my hotel has internet and maybe I will find time to keep up some and get a blog post out.

I always get excited about this national meeting, as I love to socialize and talk with people from all over the country. This time I am excited about meeting my fellow Hunger and Environmental Nutrition colleagues. I am co-presenting the article on Organic Foods that I co-wrote with Chris McCullum-Gomez. I call Chris one of my organic heros as she is truly a champion for sustainable agriculture and protecting the enviroment and people's health.

Speaking of health, one of my goals for 2010 is to start making or buying more environmentally friendly cleaning products and healthy body care products. I have just spent some time looking at the Environmetal Working Groups Skin Deep web site. They classify and report on tens of thousands of everyday products and give you a rating score on each item's health and safety. I think I average about a score of 4 (on a 0-10 scale)  on my cumulative products. But I was surprised by some of the ratings on items that I thought were more "pure" products. My sister, Susie, has made some homemade cleaning products and I have asked for a basket of these goodies as my holiday gift this year.

Well, I see that Steve already stole my thunder about the new house. But I was so busy this week making 10 batches of croissants, canning apples and finishing work projects that I gave him the opportunity to release the news. We are super excited about this next venture. We are considering it Phase II of the Locavore Makeover Project. The re-making of a house and yard into a nirvana of "In the City, Off the Grid!" While I love this current house and my incredibly great neighbors, I can't garden here - not even in pots! Of course, the idea that I am only moving about 5 houses away is a huge consolation to leaving my neighbors and this charming home. Lucky for us, I have been told we can still attend the block parties! (Everyone on the block is an incredible cook so I know they want me and not just my food; ha ha!)

The new house is functional and needs some work, but it's really the 1/2 acre lot right on West Market Street that we are so excited about. We envision an orchard out front and vegetable gardens in the back (with the chickens.) There are mature muscadine grape vines in two places in the back part of the property and I am excited about tapping those next year. I have never tried wine making, but if I can brew beer, I feel confident I can try my hand at wine.

Our ultimate goal would be to produce enough food to have our own Community Supported Agriculture program with about 3 or 4 other local families. We will intend to blog about the whole experience and let everyone know about how we got started and where we succeed or fail.

Lastly, I read about another food blogger who lives just a couple of streets over. She has some great recipes on her site and I included her on the Blog Roll - look for Mod Meals on Mendenhall. Whew, it's early but I am ready to hit the hay! More news and more work to come. The families are rolling along and everyone is in and out of town and busy with scheduled things, but I know they have been introduced to some new concepts that are sinking in and we'll have a lot to add in the near future!

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