Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

Bonjour & Welcome! Conscious by Chloé is a Sustainable Lifestyle Blog focusing on Zero Waste, Slow Living, and Ethical Fashion.

The Local Thirty Challenge - Eating Local Food for a Month

The Local Thirty 2018 by Conscious by Chloé

Usually, when I hear or take part in discussions about diets and their impact on our environment, the conversation rapidly opposes veganism and omnivorism.

On my journey to living more sustainably, I constantly go back and forth between the idea of becoming a vegan and my current semi-vegerianism, aka flexitarianism.

I very rarely eat meat, buy a yearly wild salmon share and enjoy seafood when traveling on the coast. I don't drink milk, but I love cheese. Then there's leather, honey, beewswax. I learn and question the status quo constantly.

But two books I read recently have shifted my way of approching the subject, or, better said, added a layer to the dialogue happening in my head.

One is Dandelion Hunter, by Rebecca Lerner, and the other one Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver.

The first one follows the quest of a forager in the city of Portland, Oregon, who tries to survive off wild plants from the streets and parks near her home.

The second one tells the story of a family who abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it.

What if the most sustainable diet was to eat mindfully and locally grown food?

The Local Thirty 2018 by Conscious by Chloé
Photo by Eva Kosmas Flores

Eating Local

Three years ago, a couple weeks after I first moved to Portland, I had a late summer supper at a farm in the shadow of Mount Hood.

Not only did I make new friends during that dinner, but I also fell in love with Andrea and Taylor, the owners Tumbleweed farm and quickly signed up for their CSA share.

Community Supported Agriculture is a great way to support your farmers and experience the local growing season. CSA is the backbone of a number of farms. Members share the risks and rewards inherent in responsible food production. Each week, for a certain period of time, they pick up a box of fresh, clean, local and seasonal produce grown right in their region.

Think you live in a food desert? A study reveals that 90 percent of U.S. could eat food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes, helping economy and making agriculture more sustainable.

Tumbleweed's CSA has a major perk: weekly recipe suggestions coming for Andrea's own blog/farm diary.

Though I'm not a member of the CSA any more (the pick-up location was a little bit of a drive for us), I still regularly check in on the blog and ultimately snatched a copy of Andrea's book, Dishing up the Dirt which I tirelessly get back to (my favorite recipe: the Beet Butter, p.84).

The Local Thirty 2018 by Conscious by Chloé

The Local Thirty

Last May, Andrea published this article. I did not know that my admiration for her could not grow any bigger, but it instantly did! On a quest to connect on a deeper level with her food and the people who produce it, she decided that, for the 30 days of September, she was going to source all of her ingredients from a 200-mile radius of where she lives. This challenge is named The Local Thirty.

Why is it important to eat locally grown food?

I don't know about you, but I don't know where half of the food I consume comes from. I purchase it at my local coop, and trust their sourcing system, but I rarely dive deeper (in which farm was it grown? who picked it?).

Wellness

More freshness, seasonal products, new flavors, less contamination

Sustainability

Lower carbon footprint, less travel, less waste, crop rotation

Social Justice

Supports local farms, boosts local economy, fosters community, supports responsible land development, promotes variety

The Local Thirty 2018 by Conscious by Chloé
Photo by Eva Kosmas Flores

Tips for a successful Local Thirty Challenge

Find local resources

  • Look for a local food blogger
  • Visit your farmers market and strike a conversation with farmers and makers
  • Check out a small coop and check the labels, ask an employee for help and tips
  • Learn how to make something yourself

Don't hate me, I live in Andrea's area so she's pretty much done the work for me. You can find her local and national resources at the end of this article.

Have a cheat sheet

Don't make yourself miserable, the idea is indeed to learn something new, but mostly to have fun during the process.

If you feel like you cannot survive without your morning cup of coffee, put it on your cheat sheet!

I still have some research to do to see which products I'm going to find an alternative for but can already feel that olive or coconut oil will be on my list.

Prep

The best way to suceed is to plan ahead. You do not want to wake up the first morning, open your cupboard and realize that all the ingredients are coming from the other side of the planet.

Meal planning, meal prepping, batch cooking, food preserving are all great ways to kickstart your adventure!

Write a shopping list, clear your schedule for an afternoon, and prep those meals!

I'm thinking about going to the kitchen library and checking out the dehydrator and canning equipment, wish me luck!

The Local Thirty 2018 by Conscious by Chloé

Don't do it alone

Enroll your partner, kids, friends in the challenge, prep your meals, swap them, go to the farmers market together and follow the #LocalThirty on social media to find your community.

I'm meeting with 2 girlfriends today to start a Vegan Cheese Club and am planning to pick their brain on the subject and inspire/beg them to join the challenge with me.

For more inspiration, check out Andrea and Megan's plans (and cheat sheets).


Are you ready to accept the challenge? Where do you live? Who will be your local inspiration for resources and recipes?

A Day of Home Cooked Meals

A Day of Home Cooked Meals by Conscious by Chloé

It's been a while since I last wrote about food around here. So let me invite you into my kitchen for a day of meals.

A Day of Home Cooked Meals by Conscious by Chloé

Breakfast

I'm always super excited to wake and get up on Sundays because this means I get to go eat croissants! Those delicacies are very rich so I try to only allow myself to eat them once a week. So, as soon as I'm up, I trow on a cozy outfit and run to the bakery while Octave warms up a cup of hot cocoa.

My favorite: a plain croissant.
His favorite: an almond croissant.

We might sometimes spice things up with a pain au chocolat or a bear claw, but tend to stick to classics.

A Day of Home Cooked Meals by Conscious by Chloé

As freelancers, we too easily forget to take time off and slow down, so I figured that a Sunday morning tradition would be a tasty way to make our Sunday mornings a little special (we also eat breakfast out on Wednesdays at our neighborhood café).

And let's not forget that we are both French and that we're lucky enough to have a bakery that sells delicious viennoiseries in our neighborhood. Their employees are also the nicest, usually know what I'll order before I do and always mention how much they love that I bring my own cloth bag to carry my croissants back home.

We alternate between a chai latte and hot chocolate. I usually have a bottle of homemade almond milk ready so all Octave has to do is pour a little milk in a saucepan and add chai or cocoa powder.

A Day of Home Cooked Meals by Conscious by Chloé

Lunch

After such a fat-rich breakfast, we should have upped our fiber intake and balanced our diet with a vegetable-based meal but opted for a quick and easy meal: a quinoa bowl.

This is a staple in our household. And Octave likes to cook a big batch so we can eat leftovers of the following day, usually wrapped in a tortilla (yum!).

Quinoa, tofu, avocado and a hint of sriracha. These are 4 ingredients that were not part of our diet at all before we moved to the US. Now, I don't think we could do without them (we're slowly building up our tolerance to spicy food).

This is not particularly noticeable but the water we're drinking here is actually sparkling water. We recently purchased a Sodastream) and are very happy about it because: a/ we only have to bring the gas bottle back to the store every other month to exchange it for a full one - so this means no glass bottle or metal cans! b/ we drink way more water now than before. Sparkling water looks so much more appealing than still water. I'm famous for serving it in a wine glass #fancydrink c/ we experiment much more with natural flavors and ditched our usual drinking vinegars, which contain too much sugar.

A Day of Home Cooked Meals by Conscious by Chloé

Snack

Time to eat veggies!

My favorite Oregon farmer, Andrea Bemis, published a book last year and not only have I read it like it was an autobiography, but I also dive back into it on a regular basis when I want to try a new dish with seasonal ingredients.

My favorite recipe in the beet butter. And I just realized that it's on page 84 - my birth year. Coincidence? I think not!

I've switched a couple ingredients with ones I had in my pantry and whipped up this delicious and beautiful dip in no time.

Beets, cashews, maple syrup, toasted sesame oil and a pinch of salt is all I used to make it.

Then I sliced a carrot and added a little parsley for the picture.

A Day of Home Cooked Meals by Conscious by Chloé

Dinner

Not only is Octave an amazing photographer, he's also an awesome chef! This is how we share chores at home, he cooks, I wash the dishes.

Last year, we made 2 major purchases for the kitchen (a food processor, a pasta attachment set for our KitchenAid and and have not regretted them a single second.

We use them several times a week - if not daily. They save us a lot of time and make cooking an even more enjoyable task.

I cut the mushrooms and shred the parmesan with the food processor while Octave mixes the dough and shapes the pasta with the KichenAid.

He's gotten really good at it and it now takes him around 30 minutes to make pasta from scratch!

I personally could live on a pasta diet...

A Day of Home Cooked Meals by Conscious by Chloé

We rarely drink alcohol (I especially, because, migraines), but when we do, trust us, it's the good stuff! Octave's father is a cider producer and hooked us on natural wines (no sulfates, no sulfites, no bad stuff added). We have a pretty solid selection at home so if you ever come over, bring dessert!

A Day of Home Cooked Meals by Conscious by Chloé

Talking about dessert, unless we have guests, we will not prepare something special. According to our mood, we'll either eat a piece of fruit or a square of the darkest chocolate (bonus points if there's a salted caramel stuffing).

Notes

Event though we try to reduce our carbon footprint and the amount of trash we produce by shopping local, organic and in bulk, we still purchase certain products packaged, like cheese. Oh, and yes, we (still) eat animal products, such as cheese, meat, cheese and honey though those occurrences are getting rarer and rarer and one might call us semi-vegetarians or flexitarians.

Check out what fellow Ethical Writers & Creatives eat in one day over here:


How much do you think about what you eat and its impact on the environment?

Pictures by Octave Zangs for Conscious by Chloé.