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September 15, 2009

Eat Globally, Write Locally — The Foreignvore Challenge

Localvore Friends, today I embark on a great challenge (a challenge I was supposed to undertake yesterday, but I forgot). Today, on the 15th of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand niner, I begin my week of eating globally. For seven days, I shall become a foreignvore, eating only food that comes from at least 100 miles away from my Burlington HQ. Coincidentally, my challenge happens at the exact same time that localvores (or "locavore" if you're talking about people who eat only crazy women) embark on their annual "eat local" challenges. Funny that.

To the right is an example of food I can't eat. It's from Starksboro, 23 miles from my HQ.

It's going to be tough, since most of what I eat comes from local farms and producers. So for a week it's going to be goodbye Arethusa Collective carrots, goodbye Orb Weaver cheese, goodbye Champlain Orchards mini apple crumbles. Forget drinking Strafford Creamery chocolate milk or even eating Madhouse Munchies potato chips. For this week, I'm going without.

I've heard that localvores give themselves a "Marco Polo" list — exceptions to the 100-mile radius rule. For them, the list generally includes salt, pepper, yeast and other spices. For me, this list will include Dragonfly Sugarworks maple syrup and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, among others. I'm going to call it my Ethan Allen list, after the founder of the eponymous furniture company. 

So far I've done pretty well. This morning I ate cereal from Washington State and soy milk from Michigan. I also had a glass of grapefruit juice from Florida. I almost fell off the wagon mid-morning since today is Bagel Tuesday in the office. But after a quick call to the Bagel Cafe and Deli where the bagels and cream cheese came from, I was assured that neither the bagels, nor the plain cream cheese were local. Phew! Snack on.

Lunch proved to be difficult since I didn't do much in the way of pre-planning. In a pinch I grabbed a bean burrito from California, a yogurt also from California and a "natural soda" that came from California as well. I suppose the Golden State really is the breadbasket of the nation. Soon, I will treat myself to a chocolate bar from some exotic Central American locale.

After a week of eating globally, I will write up my findings and present them to you, fair reader(s), in an easily digestible nugget of information. Then I will make myself a lapel pin that I will wear with great pride, boasting of my foreignvore success. If you so desire, you can read about my trials as a foreignvore in the Sept. 23 issue of Seven Days. Until then, I bid you fair, far dining. 

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