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BLOG | I'm a Locavore and I Cheated

11Alive's Julie Wolfe is blogging about her participation in the Locavore Challenge through the month of July.

Committing to eating local is like any diet. If you plan and prepare, you're more likely to stay on the wagon. Until something happens that acts like a big pothole to dump you out. This week, it was the AJC Peachtree Road Race.

Since 11Alive is the media sponsor, it means a long day of coverage. I had fun running and reporting live along the 6.2 mile course. Kudos to the Atlanta Track Club for including local peaches and peanuts at the finish line. I didn't eat either, just the cookies. When I got back to the newsroom and sat down to edit my piece (still sweaty), I grabbed a box lunch the station had ordered for the huge crew call. Again, not local.

Feeling a desperate need to get back to local, I finally made it to Urban Cannibals in East Atlanta on Thursday. Twitter follower Shauna Stuart highly recommended the eatery on Flat Shoals. I think it's more of a place to eat than shop given their frequent suggestions I eat lunch ("do you want a menu in case you change your mind?"), but they had some good local finds. When they realized what I was looking for, they walked me around their small store pointing out local foods.

My favorite buy was Braswell's Select tea. It comes in a reusable drinking glass. The Statesboro company says only 20% of drink containers are recycled, so the unique packaging encourages people to reuse the glasses. Honestly, I don't need any more drinking glasses, but I love the idea and the Pomegranate Blackberry tea was delicious.

As I close on week one of the Locavore Challenge, I've eaten about 75% local; not quite my 90% goal. It's been fun to hunt down local food. It's made me try things I wouldn't have otherwise. And I know I'm eating healthier.

I recently read a critique of the Locavore movement saying people just won't pay more for lower quality food just because it's local. Everything I've eaten from local sources has been ABOVE quality of what I usually find in the grocery store. But, I concede it has been more expensive. Produce is less expensive since I'm buying what's in season and there's so much of it right now. But eggs, meat, and grains have been particularly pricey. I've received some emails and tweets suggesting the best cost for local meats might be at weekend farmers markets. I'll check back on Monday and let you know what I found.

If you have any ideas, e-mail me at jwolfe@11alive.com or follow me on Twitter @JulieWolfe.

The Locavore Challenge: Eat Local
I'm a Locavore: The Beginning
I'm a Locavore: Day 4