Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Returnable bottles

I don't actually drink a lot of milk (half & half and cheese are entirely different stories). However, when I do buy milk, I've started to insist on returnable bottles from a local milk producer. 

Certainly, using returnable bottles doesn't completely mitigate the costs of packaging. However, unlike recycling, when I return my bottle to the store (and get my $1.50 deposit returned), I'm fairly confident that the bottle is going back to the dairy for another round with the lovely cows.

Since the milk is produced locally, it doesn't have to endure ultra-pasteurization. While this process helps keep milk from going bad while traveling long distances, it has the negative side-effect of destroying the proteins used in cheese making. Since I use most of my milk for cheese and other dairy products, fresh and local is a must.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Animal, Vegetable, Blog???

After about six months getting the majority of my food from a CSA and local farmers' markets, my aunt turned me on to the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Loved it and highly recommend it to anyone. Certainly, there was a bit of preaching to the choir, but all in all, I found the book informative and inspiring. It made me think I could do things that I hadn't even considered, like making my own cheese.

While I love that she and her family decided to move to a small town and eat off their land and the land of the small farmers surrounding them, I have no intention of moving out of the city. I LOVE living in the heart of a city with all the energy and possibilities that it has to offer. I grew up in small town Florida and don't regret for a second leaving and never looking back.

I'm a city chick. I don't have acres of land - I have a 400 square foot apartment with non-tillable soil in my 30 square foot front yard that I share with 8 neighbors (see the picture of my tiny kitchen - also known as a litchen because it serves as eat in kitchen and living room). I don't have a pick up truck - the bus, subway, my bike, and my feet are my main forms of transportation. I don't have a family to share the work of raising my own food - I'm a single girl, living on my own. And most importantly, I don't have a lot of excess time - I work a full time job and travel a lot.

As a result, I've decided to do a year (more or less) in the life of a city chick who is trying to find creative ways of eating more responsibly.