Good day, everyone, and welcome to Fall quarter. I have an interesting situation confronting me as I begin my examination of the footprint of my family’s diet: $20 left in the grocery budget, with a week to go before the funds are replenished. Mind you, this is for a family of five: dad, mom, and three boys, grades 4-8. I realized that I needed to take stock of what we have and figure out how to make it work. I also realized that it was the perfect opportunity to set a baseline for the project.
A good research project needs a baseline, and this is no exception. What I’ll do, then, is conduct a ‘census’ of the kitchen to find out what we have and where it came from. I intend to develop a metric for determining the ecological impact of a given food item, factoring in place of origin, means of production, mode of travel, and so forth. From there I will take the distance-traveled of the food and derive an average radius for the whole shopping cart, so to speak. This is the number I will try to reduce over the year. Washington apples may offset Wisconsin cheese, but will it be enough? Besides, they make cheese in Oregon.
Meanwhile, I have to plan breakfast and dinner for the week from what’s on hand, plus some infill of bread and milk (remember the three boys? They’d eat nothing but cereal if I let them). A quick look around the office kitchen tells me there’s plenty here if I can figure out how to put it together, and I’m pretty sure I can do that.