This is the question for most of you looking to take the challenge all the way to the hardcore level. Here’s my opinion.
That first cup of coffee in the morning is like fine poetry to all my senses. I refuse to cut it out.
First, my tired hands fumble for that bag in the dark cupboard;
then my ears get to enjoy that grating sound of the grinder at 6am;
my nostrils are soon flooded with that nutty smell;
once poured into a glass, always a glass so I can watch the milk swirl around,
I get to enjoy the taste, after those agonizing 5 minutes;
Whether you call it an addiction or a ritual, some things are such an important part of life, that they seem silly to cut out. Obviously, everyone is different, and I know I will be a much more pleasant human if I allow myself this jungle-grown indulgence. If you’re able to cut out everything not produced in Utah, good for you! I commend your willpower and strength! If you’re not, then look at ways to make it closer to local. For example: it is possible to buy fair trade coffee grown in Mexico, roasted in Utah. It’s not perfectly local, but as long as globalized agriculture affords me this luxury, I will partake!
Eat Local Week is not simply about cutting things out of your diet, it’s about coming together and celebrating Utah’s agricultural history, learning more about local options, and making empowered decisions about your diet. It’s not about backing down from the hardcore-level simply because you have an affair with coffee or chocolate. Figure out what you’re comfortable with, and talk to others to see what eating local looks like for them. This way, the week can be much more fulfilling than simply cutting most things out of your diet and struggling to gulp down yet another kale salad without any olive oil.
Get out there and meet some farmers at the market! Shop at local grocery stores that support our local producers and economy! Ask questions, find out where your food is coming from, and who is making it. Figure out how to use those weird things called kohlrabis, and decide for yourself if you’ll be having a strong infusion of local mint in place of your morning coffee.