The Day After
Yesterday was the last day of my 250-mile diet year. I celebrated with friends and a scrumptious local foods feast (if I do say so myself). One of the guests took a lot of pictures (I forgot), and I’ll post soon with some of those and some recipes from the menu. But now I want to write about what it is like not to be on The 250 today.
I do feel a sense of accomplishment for having done the whole year, but all morning I’ve been hit by waves of melancholy. I think I’ve figured out what that is about.
In many ways, The 250 simplified my life. I stuck to the rules I’d set for myself, and that meant that if it wasn’t a local ingredient, I didn’t eat it. I’d stand in line at the Park Slope Food Coop, and the people pulling things off the shelves that had lots of packaging and long ingredient lists seemed far removed from my life.
But now I’ve rejoined the world of choice. I went to the coop this morning and walked through the aisles knowing that technically I could buy anything I wanted to. Would I dare to eat a mango? Would it be worth the fuel burned and the most likely underpaid labor somewhere thousands of miles away? Did I even want to? No, not today.
My commitment to eating locally grown food remains strong. But now there are choices I’ll have to make every day that I didn’t even have to think about during The 250, and that is where the melancholy comes in. In a way, it will take more motivation to eat locally now than it did when I had a list of rules to follow.
There is some dip leftover from last night’s party, but we ate all of the crackers I made with locally grown wheat flour. My dad, who is visiting from SF, still has some non-local crackers left from the airplane snack he packed for his plane trip. Do we eat those with the dip, or do I opt for slicing up some local cucumber and using those instead (I don’t have time to make another batch of crackers today)? Choices.
Meanwhile, it’s tomato season and I know that I need to can at least 25 jars of them before winter…