Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Mushrooms Increase Your Locavore Quotient
The most green diet includes lots of organic, local food. How do you do that in the fifth largest city? MsPhillyOrganic fully intends to explore "really local food" in many posts and acknowledges that eating green will require ongoing discussion. It is possible to eat more local food without destroying your budget (if it is still intact).
Locavores eat food grown within 100 miles of their home. Local food is generally considered as hailing from a source within 50 to 150 miles. As we all know, Kennet Square in Chester County is the Mushroom Capital of the world. Kennet Square is approximately 30 miles from Philadelphia, so it meets the mileage requirement for locavores and the broader definition of "local food." It's hard in any city to find food grown within 30 miles.
Mushrooms are cheap, starting $3.99 per pound while 90% lean ground beef costs 4.99 per pound. Steak costs even more, depending on the cut, fat percentage, and other factors. Mushrooms save dough! As an added bonus, mushrooms are a dietary superstar. They're low fat (how you cook them is your business), full of micronutrients that are hard to find, and low calorie (a full serving has 20 calories.) They're an important source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Mushrooms are also low-carb. Plus they're loaded with umami, the fifth taste!
Eating vegetarian is one of the best ways to green your diet. Factory raised meat dumps a lot of unprocessed waste directly into the water systems, not to mention that animals and meat are trucked all over the nation to be butchered and stocked in the store. Mushrooms grow in compost that growers reuse. When it is "spent" for their purposes, growers make it available for little or no cost to the public, for whom it's still viable garden compost.
Replacing just a few meat meals per week with mushrooms makes your food source more local, more environmentally friendly, healthier, cheaper, and more green! This is a sure bet with no way to lose. Tomorrow's dinner could be only 30 miles away and not in Topeka.