As many of you well know, I am a vegetarian. That said, I am in love with a man and am raising children who will eat animal products (I am hoping that someday my children, of their own will, will decide to be vegetarians, however, similar to my husband’s and my own approach to teaching our children religion, we are not going to push a specific philosophy or lifestyle). So, after a bit of research, I decided that I would feel best if my family ate meat from farms where the animals were loved and had led a good life.
I then stopped over at Local Harvest to find the closest market or farm that sells local meats and animal products. I know that this sounds like a promotion (it’s not, and in any case, it’s just me sharing a bit about my lifestyle with you all), though if you and your family are not already eating locally in one way, shape, or form, you might want to check out this little diddy on why you might want to buy and eat local.
Ah, now getting back to the story. I drove 40 minutes or so from my town to a small market that specializes in selling local products. There I met a wonderful small business owner who eagerly showed me around her store and helped me find excellent quality meat from farmers that she deals with personally (I realize the best option is to purchase directly from the farmer, though, in this case, I have to say that her store makes eating local quite convenient, especially for my family, since we don’t always plan out our weekly menus so well). She also introduced me to Trickling Springs Creamery‘s certified organic milk that is produced by grass-fed cows, is chemical, antibiotic and synthetic free, and well, tastes absolutely delicious. Have a previously shared how as a former soy milk lover, I have only drank cow’s milk in my current pregnancy? Whatever the reason, my body just seems to crave milk this time around.
Another neat thing about drinking (and thus purchasing) milk from a local creamery is that the milk is stored in glass containers . . . it tastes awesome and not to be preachy, but these containers are used over and over again, and well, we all know that “reuse” is one of those green keywords.
As for local meats, I selected free range, hormone and antibiotic free meats from Fields of Athenry, which is a family farm in Purcellville, Virginia (just a few towns over from where we live). And yes, even though I am a vegetarian and often will not handle meat, I cooked up a few lamb sausage links for dinner this evening. My husband says it is the best sausage ever. Can you believe he said that about something I cooked? :-) Sorry folks, but cooking is not my forte.
So, being that we have to (and like to) eat, I am wondering, do agricultural practices and/or a commitment to the environment influence the way your family shops and eats? If so, what kinds of local products do you find or have you had a hard time finding? I’m hoping to expand my family’s palate and make a better effort to eat what grows around here.