Eating Local in the Northwest

October 6, 2009


Open your fridge. Can you tell the exact history of where one item came from? Eating local doesn't seem like a hard challenge until you start thinking about it. Last Sunday night, a group of us got together and cooked a meal that was made almost entirely with local ingredients. The best part of it all was that we didn't intentionally mean to have a dinner made completely of locally sourced ingredients, but once we realized we had the beginnings of one, we made it our goal to get as a close as we could to a completely local dinner.

When you start learning where your food really comes from, you learn how much labor, transportation and energy and resources go  into everything you eat. Eating local doesn't just mean you help out the farmers, gardeners and butchers in your area, you are also saving other costs that add up, including energy, gas, storage and other hidden resources used to get those items off a truck and onto a shiny display. Challenge yourself to make it a personal goal to eat one thing at one meal a day that is sourced locally, not only will you feel good, believe me, it will taste better!

The Menu

Locally Caught Salmon with Lemon, Herb Butter: The salmon was caught locally by my friend Neil. Oregano, thyme and dill all from Washington state. Our splurge was the lemon, salt and pepper and olive oil, purchased from the grocery store.

All Blue Potato Salad with Fresh Dill: The all blue potatoes came from a farm that I was apprenticing at, about 20 miles away. Fresh dill and a sweet onion came from the Ballard Farmer's market that morning. Our splurge was purchased Dijon mustard, mayonnaise and salt and pepper.

Summer Corn and Tomato Salad: The corn, basil and sweet onion came from the farmers market. The tomatoes were grown in my garden. Our splurge was olive oil, red onion and salt and pepper.

Winter Greens with Garlic and Lemon: The Swiss chard, kale and collard greens were all from the Ballard farmer's market, our splurge was olive oil, lemon, garlic- (although it should have been bought at the farmer's market), and Parmesan Reggiano.

Katy's Blackberry Pie with Lemon Verbena Infused Fresh Whip Cream: The blackberries were purchased at the farmer's market, the whip cream was from a Washington state organic creamery and the lemon verbena was from my friend Katy's lemon verbena plant. Our splurge: organic pie crust from PCC, lemon juice, purchased spices.

All Blue Potato Salad on Foodista

Grilled Salmon With Fresh Lemon and Herb Compound Butter on Foodista

Summer Corn and Tomato Salad With Fresh Basil on Foodista

Winter Greens With Garlic and Lemon on Foodista

Blackberry Pie on Foodista



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Suzi's picture

I liked the main topic of the article. Have you ever seen or heard of the documentary Food Inc? It is the perfect illustration of the benefits of buying local. What also would be cool is a blog on all of the local farmer's markets in the Northwest, especially the Seattle neighborhood markets (Fremont, Ballard, Capitol Hill). Great job!

Melissa Peterman's picture

Hi Suzi,

I had tickets in my hand at one point to see the movie and something came up, but it is at the top of my list! I believe we have a blog post coming up regarding year-round farmers' markets- so many great markets here in Seattle! Also, stay tuned come November, we are launching Eat Local Thanksgiving!

Katy's picture

Hey Melissa,

One correction to the pie recipe ingredients: no lemon juice in the pie or the whipped cream - all that great lemony flavor came from the lemon verbena leaves alone! Those little leaves pack a powerful punch (I must make a tisane with them one of these days!).

Melissa Peterman's picture

Thanks Katy! I didn't have your recipe at the time of publishing this, so I substituted a recipe that was already on Foodista. Besides the lemon juice- is there anything else I should edit for a new Black Berry Pie With Lemon Verbena recipe? Thank you for the correction!!

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