"You are where you eat." That's the message at www.eatingalabama.org, the website/blog of two Birmingham-area couples who are trying to eat nothing but Alabama-raised food for four months, from April through July. They're growing their own food, getting produce from Snow's Bend Farm in Tuscaloosa, and making pilgrimages all over the state to find homegrown milk, cheese, shiitake mushrooms, strawberries, fingerling sweet potatoes, greens, meat, poultry, peanuts, eggs, venison, quail, soybeans, wheat berries, honey, salad greens.
There are things they miss, like grains and out of season fruits. Each of the participants has chosen a few exceptions, such as coffee, oil, vinegar, salt and baking soda. One of the couples normally doesn't eat meat, but has had to add it to the menu because you can't get much in the way of local beans and tofu. They report feeling healthier, and looking at packaged convenience foods with an Ewwwww, yuk reaction.
Go back to the beginning and read the locavores' essays about their history and why they're undertaking this experiment, which they're documenting in words, photos, and video. Rashmi Grace, one of the locavores, put it this way: "We don't anticipate solving the problems of our industrial agriculture system in the next four months, but we hope to get a better glimpse at small farmers throughout the state who are trying to make a difference. But there are ways everyone can become involved - join your local CSA or visit a farm in your area. Ask your local produce manager if she carries any produce from Alabama. Visit a farmer's market. Drink local wine."
(A good start would be to check out Pepper Place Market Saturday morning -- the weather's supposed to be great!)
Here's a story on WBHM about Eating Alabama: