Thursday, March 20, 2008

What the hell is a "Slowcavore"?

Well, since it's a word I just made up (and I verified that I made it up by attempting to Google it, and if it can't be Googled, then it doesn't exist, right?!), it means me.

I'm Leslie, and I'm a slowcavore.

I'm a locavore (or at least attempting to be one) because I've been feeling this amazing "oh yes, this is what makes sense for my life" response to the entire concept around locavorism, and my small beginning efforts to eat local foods that preferably use natural or organic sustainable farming practices. I'm talking "oh yes" in that "falling in love, and the more you get to know each other, the more you really believe that this could be forever" kind of way. I can't tell you right now that it will be forever, but I can tell you that it's a very serious relationship that won't burn out quickly.

But I'm a slow locavore. I'm going to work on pushing my boundaries, but I'm going to keep it realistic for me, my family, and where I live. There are many really wonderful resources, books and websites, on eating locally and locavorism that have helped me explore this path. But too many of them, even some of the ones that I would consider truly to be among the best, really imply that you need to make an almost-all or nothing commitment, and that you should commit to going almost totally local as quickly as possible. It's easy to read their war stories of how much they had to give up until they found local resources for some key foods and think, "I'll never be able to (or want to) do that!" It feels at times as if a "good" locavore is expected to give up a lifetime of the food equivalent of two packs a day -- tomorrow, cold turkey, without a patch, oh and give up caffeine and sugar at the same time.

In my life, that's as realistic as my saying "starting tomorrow, I'm going to walk to work every day, no matter what the weather." It might seem great in theory, but it's not terribly realistic for me.

Just like some folks need to stop smoking gradually, and most folks need to lose weight gradually in order to keep it off, this person has to ease into becoming a locavore. I'm not going to able to give all non-local foods up all at once. Because of where I live, by necessity I'll have a much wider circle of what I'll be able to consider local than what seems to have become the standard of 100 miles. And there are just some things that are never going to disappear from my life, including tea, chocolate and avocados for me, coffee and sugar for Partner, and going out to eat to places that aren't local for both of us.

I have no apologies for meandering towards the clear goal of eating locally. Becoming a locavore is definitely not a competition. And despite what some very resourceful and committed people have been able to accomplish (people who have a lot to teach the rest of us from their experiences) for most of us it really doesn't have to be an all or nothing deal - anything that you can do counts and is a positive thing. For the most part the people I've met who are exploring eating locally are being equally realistic and totally get it. They just aren't the folks writing some of these books or websites.

So this will be where I do everything from ramble on about something I read (and, if you haven't figure it out yet, yes I really can ramble), to put questions and musings out there, to remark on the trivia of the locavore part of my life, such as what I got from my CSA that week.

If anyone happens upon this and wants to reply, I'd love more than anything to have something I say spark a dialog of any kind, even if it's only to say "hey, me too!" and "oh yeah? cool!".

One last note: Slowcavore sounds maybe more like a combination of being a locavore and part of the Slow Foods movement. I'm intrigued by what very little (like, two paragraphs of little) I've read about the Slow Foods movement, and I want to learn more about it, as soon as I finish devouring (1) every book and website I can find on the subject of eating locally, (2) another one of those exquisite porterhouse steaks from the local pastured beef farm, and (3) the turnips that I'm getting from my CSA on Saturday.

I have no bloody clue what to do with a turnip.

No comments: