Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eat Local

For over a year now, Danielle and I have been trying to spend as much of our grocery budget with local producers and merchants as possible. Most weeks we spend 60% of our grocery money at the Lynchburg Community Market, and about 40% at chain grocery stores. I'm hoping now that we are in the full swing of farmers' market season, we can push that 60% even higher.

Recently f0r dinner one evening, we had steamed mussels with mixed green and strawberry salads.

We steamed the mussels in a mixture of canned tomatoes, dry white wine, oregano, and basil. The wine used in steaming the mussels is the Mylonite White from Chateau-Z Vineyard. The wine made it to the glass too. I'd be a safe bet to say the wine was in the glass first and that's how it made it to the mussel pot. The mussels are from Prince Edward Island, which I picked up from Blue Marlin Seafood. I had hoped to find mussels a little more local, but did the best I could.

Lets back up for a minute and talk about the wine we enjoyed with this dinner. If you've followed along with my blog, you'll know that Cliff Ambers over at Chateau-Z is someone whom I have great respect for. He is working almost exclusively with hybrid grapes (he has over 200 varieties in his breeding vineyard), and makes some great wines with little known and sometimes even less appreciated varieties of grapes. Tonight's wine is his 2007 Mylonite White, which is a blend of Rayon d'Or, Seyval Blanc, Muscat, Vivant, Traminette, and Vidal Blanc hybrids. The wine is dry, crisp, and fairly aromatic. This wine is aged without oak and reminds me of Viognier. Stop by and see Cliff at the Lynchburg Community Market.

The strawberries used thin the salads were from Three Springs Farm who sells at the Lynchburg Community Market.

The broth from the mussels is great poured over the mussels as you serve them, and just begs to be soaked up with a great crusty bread. We rounded out the meal with a loaf of a country white bread from Lorraine Bakery who also sells at the Lynchburg Community Market.

I challenge each of you to seriously evaluate where your food comes from. Ask a kindergartner if he or she knows where their food comes from. If their response is the grocery store, maybe you should take a better look at what you are eating. I'm not here to bash grocery stores or even big agribusiness. I just ask that you to be more engaged in how your food gets from field (or ocean) to your plate. Ask where it comes from and what happens to it along the way.