Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 6 - Stay Local, Go Organic

For someone watching what they eat (and like me, writing a blog about it), Friday and Saturday are the toughest. Romantic dinners, barbecues, a night at the movies …. All can be ruined by that simple phrase: “No thanks, I’m on a diet.” So I anticipated this Friday and Saturday with growing dread, as I tried desperately to cling to my challenge of eating only organic, local foods for seven days.

While I’m at it, why not make it as difficult on myself as possible? Why not enter the Lion’s Den, the mecca of all things fried, fat-filled and served on a stick? I’m talking, of course, about the Minnesota State Fair. It was not my idea to attend today – it had been a planned work outing. The additional fact that my husband was there for work as well (yes, we have great jobs) made it a no-brainer that I’d attempt to run the State Fair food gauntlet in search of local/organic.

I knew local wouldn’t be the problem, but naturally-made food is harder to find at the fair than an open bathroom stall. At least, thanks to tips from the Simple Good and Tasty website, I knew to head to the Eco Experience. But here’s the one problem. Despite how interesting and informative the Eco Experience is about the growing local food movement, sustainable farming and organic cuisine, there was virtually no actual food to munch on! I was growing desperate and panicking about my options – go hungry, go home, or go crazy on mini-donuts, cheese curds, cookies, chocolate-covered bananas, is that a deep-fried snickers bar?

Then we found it – the one booth actually selling and advertising their local, healthy food. The Countryside Market right outside the Eco Experience had farm-fresh-tasting Capresse on a stick and mouth-watering yellow watermelon. But that was about it. I’ve since heard that French Meadow has a booth at the state fair. We didn’t make it there, but wouldn’t have had enough money to try anything anyway. There’s very likely other food at the fair that would fit the definition of local and organic but if so, they weren’t promoting the fact because we didn’t see any and we walked a fair distance looking. I hope next year, the Capresse on a Stick has some competition.

So I managed to stay on track even at the State Fair. But let’s see how tomorrow goes. My husband and friends are holding a Meat-Smoking event that’s an all-day affair. Hope I don’t just have to say “No thanks, I’m on a diet……”

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