Everyone is surely thinking about food a lot more this week than usual. While planning your Thanksgiving feast, did you stop and think about eating fresh and local? This year for Thanksgiving, I’ll be enjoying my first taste of a fresh and local turkey from Pound’s Turkey Farm.
I wouldn’t have thought about a fresh and local turkey as an option for Thanksgiving if it wasn’t for my partner in crime, Rob de la Cretaz, who decided to weed out processed foods from his diet and eat fresh and local as much as possible after reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.
In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Pollan notes, “… the way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world. Daily, our eating turns nature into culture, transforming the body of the world into our bodies and minds.” So, how would one go about eating fresh and local regularly in an urban setting?
I don’t have to tell you that the markets of the Strip District provide an abundance of the freshest produce and local goodies on a regular basis. But beyond that, there are additional options along the Penn Avenue corridor to keep any locavore pleased.
Fresh and local lunches have proven to be a challenge for Rob, who works 10 hour days 4 days a week, to keep his energy up all day. A visit to Whole Foods, at 5880 Centre Ave, on Sunday afternoons has become a tradition. Rob stocks up on a few Whole Foods brand Meals To Go and splits them up for each of his work days. The average cost of one of these meals is $4.00, and it provides a hearty alternative to frozen meals which can carry exorbitant amounts of sodium and preservatives. Up the road a bit, Rob stops at the East End Food Co-Op, at 7516 Meade St, for staples like local meat and poultry. As a leader in sustainable living, education and engagement, the East End Food Co-Op has been serving the community since 1977.
Rob still isn’t satisfied with his weekly grocery trip, so he ventures down to Right By Nature, at 23rd and Smallman St, to pick up a few odds and ends. Right By Nature works with several local farms to bring Pittsburgh a collection of the healthiest and affordable local produce, dairy and meat. They also have a hand in the community by taking part in Neighborhood Nights. Each Tuesday evening, a certain neighborhood is invited to enjoy 5% off their purchases and is invited to a talk centered on eating naturally.
Right By Nature is Rob’s favorite grocery store, because he knows he’ll get a fist bump from Moe on his way out each time. Customer service makes the difference for him; if the store’s team members make him feel welcome and appreciated, he is more likely to return for additional items he may have purchased somewhere else, regardless of the price difference.
What are your fresh and local grocery routines?
Photo by robjdlc via Flickr