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Relational Eating

As I chopped my veggies and meat for lunch, I thought we could call this 10-mile diet “relational eating." I know everyone who raised this food. I even “know,” so to speak, the little sisters of the beef I’m eating. I’ve looked them in the eye and I know the family that raises them.

I cut the London broil in thin slices and sauted it in olive oil and garlic. Sixteen ounces of package weight ended up 12 ounces cooked, a pretty good yield, and I used the liquids that came from the beef for the stir fry. A bargain, really. I’ll buy from the Long Family again. And I swear the flavor is better than any meat I’ve eaten—unless of course we go back to my days in Northern Wisconsin and the steer (named Stu, for what he would become) we butchered with Farmer Gray. More on that later.

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The recent egg recall makes me realize that, if the Long’s  meat were to make me sick (which it won’t) there isn’t a long chain of ownership to go through, with responsibility leached out at every link of the supply chain. There’s just the Long family, which has the names of all their customers. All other buyers are neighbors as well; through telephones, email, and gossip every buyer would know what had happened within a day.

The veggies (snow peas, garlic, basil, onion, fine diced potato to add a bit of starch to the juices), are mostly from Tricia, of course, but I added in some green beans, a small carrot and curly purple kale from my garden (I got the pant starts from Eric Conn, 5.5 miles) as well. If you are one of those recipe types, here’s lunch on Day 2 of the 10-mile diet:

4 oz of the Long Family beef, sliced thin and sauteed with large clove of Tricia’s garlic and fine-chopped Tricia basil
cut Tricia snow peas diagonally, eating a couple raw as you do
same for Vicki’s fresh-killed green beans
slice Tricia’s onion
cut up Vicki’s carrot and half of one of her zukes
Stirfry in olive oil that comes from Trader Joe’s, but beyond that who knows where?
toss in minced Tricia potato to see if the starch would thicken the sauce
salt from some current or ancient sea
add a bit of Langley water that is pumped right out of the ground a quarter mile from my house and steam.

And now the really good part: Eat.


Vicki Robin is blogging for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions, about her experiment with a 10-mile diet on Whidbey Island, Wa. The coauthor of Your Money or Your Life, Vicki teaches classes about frugal, creative, and self-sufficient living (see www.yourmoneyoryourlife.org). 

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