Okay, so I think it’s pretty safe to say that about 99% of all college students have irregular eating patterns. With classes everyday and hours of homework and studying to get done outside of class, we just aren’t able to eat exactly the way we want or should be eating. Taking on the Eat Local Challenge has made me well aware of this. In a perfect world, I would eat locally all the time, but with my tight schedule, I’ve found that time is the biggest factor keeping me from becoming a full-time locavore. For instance, the two cons I have for eating locally are both time-related; I didn’t have time to prepare meals everyday and I didn’t have time to go shopping more than once during the week.
While I normally depend on outside sources to provide me with quick and easy food choices to keep me going between classes and on study breaks, I quickly learned that eating locally focused a lot of that dependence on myself. Getting up just in time to make it to class suddenly didn’t cut it anymore; what was I going to eat for lunch? Or snack on between classes? If I didn’t make the time to pack meals for myself, I suddenly was stuck going all day with no food. Maybe in the perfect world I mentioned before, there would be convenient places to buy local foods and help sustain a local diet.
Although I definitely depended on myself a lot more for meals, I also depended on City Market to provide the local foods I needed. With a limited amount of time in my schedule to go shopping downtown, I was only able to shop once, which limited the foods I ate significantly. By midweek I started getting sick of eating granola and applesauce for breakfast and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. Had I enough time to fit in a trip downtown, I could have stocked up on more fresh produce and looked for a greater variety of foods to eat. As my food supply dwindled as the week wore on, I found myself either skipping out on meals or significantly cutting down on my food intake; sometimes only eating an apple for dinner!
With these drastic cuts in my diet and changes in my schedule, I can’t help but wonder if maybe eating locally is just not sustainable.