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Eat Local Challenge round up – Sarah the Gardener

Submitted by on May 4, 2015 – 2:43 pm
By Sarah O’Neil of team ‘Sarah the Gardener and her Reluctant Diggers’ – based in Waikato.
Kiwis eating food grown and produced within a 200 km radius for 30 days of April in the Happyzine Eat Local Challenge.


Eat Local Challenge round up.

We made it through a month without starving to death.  Phew.  Our wild card product was sugar and our 5% included tea and coffee, so we didn’t go crazy with caffeine withdrawal.  We were quite strict on ourselves and so avoided common additions like vinegar and soy sauce in our cooking.  In other situations we were quite loose with interpreting the rules.  The kids still ate weetbix for breakfast and the occasional afternoon tea, despite this breakfast being created in Australia.  It’s just they are growing boys and have hollow legs.  It was hard enough from time to time deciding what to have for dinner and having hungry boys at the same time.  Our decision to use wheat and it’s bi-products like bread was a bit of a cheeky perception based on the fact it was grown locally and a well-known flour mill is based within the 200kms.


I held fast and didn’t eat chocolate, however this may be consumed for breakfast, possibly lunch and maybe tea on the 1stMay.  I don’t normally eat a lot of chocolate, but I have really missed it!  But there were occasions when we failed.  Sometimes accidentally and other times deliberately because it was easier.  Because to be honest it wasn’t easy.

Breakfasts and lunches turned out to be quite monotonous, as it was easier to just do the same thing over and over.  The dinners were much more interesting as we often came up with something delicious that was a local version of what we would normally eat or sometimes something completely different.   We found the key to it all was whole food, not fancy food.  Good old fashioned basics.


The most interesting part of this was the awareness of the state of our supply chain.  I was aware things were imported, however I wasn’t aware just how insidious this had become.   Everyone I have come across in the last 30 days is also now aware of the need to be informed as to the origins of their food.

I’m don’t think we will adopt eating local as a way of life, however we will be much more conscious of our food purchasing and will lean towards local or locally made – provided it isn’t excessively more expensive.  It has been an interesting journey.

Thank you Happyzine for the opportunity.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )


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