So we were doing really well at the Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge, and then...
What to my wondering eyes did appear at the farmers' market, but small $5 bowls of tiny unsprayed strawberries, grown by my Hmong friends!
I bought two bowls. I am weak.
This doesn't cause us to exceed our monetary limit for the week. But I still feel that I'm doing something most people couldn't do. See, every day I cook in a super-frugal way that, realistically speaking, is not practical for most working people. For example, last night I dug two chicken breasts out of the deep freeze (unusually cheap because they were part of an unneeded rooster, which we had previously parceled out into several other meals), thawed some pureed tomatoes from last summer's garden, simmered it all with onions and garlic and a bit of frozen basil, and at the last minute tossed in a few handfuls of freshly homemade egg tagliatelle. Who does that?! Well, a few of us do. But not most folks. Not everyone is privileged enough to work from home and be able to intersperse cooking with typing.
Most of our meals cost very little. This leaves us room for occasional wild splurges...such as $10 worth of strawberries at a time. I love that, and I think it's very important to my quality of life, but I don't know if it proves anything about whether "normal" people can eat locally on a budget.