12 September 2007

Bread and Restaurants

I went out to lunch yesterday, which presented some dilemmas.

A nearby restaurant was participating in the Albany County Farm to Restaurant Week, a program meant to spotlight local food. A table of brochures described local resources and events, including the Capital District 100-mile diet challenge. Two menu items were highlighted as being 100-mile diet friendly. One was sliced apples and cheese on French bread; the other was butternut squash lasagna.

A quick but necessary digression: I am struggling with grains. I'm trying to source ingredients, not just foodstuffs. Homemade style salad dressings are great, but if the chef is buying his oil and vinegar from the supermarket, that doesn't seem to be fulfilling the 100-mile diet goals. A purchase may support a local business person, but it's not really living off one's "foodshed."

I've been shopping at a local farm whose store boasts a broad inventory of fresh food from several local farmers -- including locally milled flour. The flour, packaged in heavy, waxy brown paper with large lettered black text, also was certified organic by California law. Does that mean the wheat that was milled in New York was actually grown thousands of miles away?

I'm not a hardliner. I bought the flour (at least its locally milled) and have been baking my own bread (a practice I enjoy). And at the restaurant I figured the same issue likely lurked in the French bread, proudly labeled local because it came from a bakery in town.

But imagine my surprise to taste mustard on my sandwich! I tried not to think about it.

No comments: