J and I did our grocery shopping Saturday morning at the Willy Street Co-op West and happily stumbled into a mini picnic lunch for a good cause. There was a lot to celebrate about this lovely locavore meal besides the reasonable price ($5):
1) Proceeds benefited FEED Kitchens: The Food Enterprise & Economic Development (FEED) Kitchens website describes their work thus:
Our mission is create an enterprise that supports local food entrepreneurs and the development of food-related employment by providing five commercial kitchen spaces for food processing, thereby increasing the availability of local, healthy and affordable food in the greater Madison & Dane County areas.
2) A greener wiener: Two hot dog options were available — a tasty veggie dog (my pick) or a tasty, local, pastured, humanely raised beef dog from Wisconsin Meadows (J’s selection). Either choice came with the co-op’s red rice and bean salad on the side. Dogs were served on rolls from Clasen’s, and available toppings included Hawkwind‘s mustards and hot pepper relish (I think in lieu of the advertised fizzeology kraut, which I didn’t spot). The meal also included …
3) Wisco Pop: You won’t find these pops in bottles or cans (yet!?), but keep your eyes peeled for these locally produced, no-artificial junk, sweet-but-not-cloying sodas in delicious flavors like Ginger Brew and Cherry Bomb. For more, check out their Facebook page, which links to a list of some of the places you can find Wisco Pop being poured in Madison, La Crosse, and Viroqua. Also check out coverage in the local press from Lindsay Christians for 77 Square and from Amy Verhey for Isthmus.
4) EcoTensil: Lastly, I have to give a shout out to the makers of the patented EcoTensil, which I’d never seen before. When J inquired about forks for the rice and beans, the helpful server offered up an EcoTensil. As you can see in the photo, it’s nothing more than a cut and scored piece of treated paperboard, with simple instructions for how to make yourself a little food scoop. I don’t think I’d want to eat a tossed salad with one of these, but for a single-use occasion (and easily scooped food) like this, it was exactly what was called for!