Are You a “locavore?’
You’ve heard of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, but do you know what a locavore is? It’s someone who consumes food that is grown and produced locally in his or her area.
I know, what in the world are you going to eat that’s made in your area. It sounds impossible, but it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. You don’t have to limit your diet, but try to choose local foods when available. It takes a little thought, and maybe a change in your habits. Here are some ideas for getting started, and some of them look a lot like fun!
Visit your local farmer’s market. In addition to fruits and vegetables, you may find eggs, bread, canned goods, and even meats that are produced locally.
Grow your own food. In your own garden, grow the things you and your family enjoy. Eat them fresh, then freeze and can for the winter, and you’ll always have a supply of local food ready.
Frequent small, independant businesses. You may find locally produced wine, beer, coffee, jams, jellies, cheeses, baked goods and candy and more, produced in your area and offered by businesses in your town.
Ask questions at your grocery store. Find out where the produce comes from. How about the meats? Tell them what you’d like to see. If more customers speak up, it drives stores to re-think how and where they purchase.
Join a CSA (community supported Agriculture). These farms usually charge a monthly or seasonal membership fee, and provide you with a box of whatever is harvested that week.
Why eat local? Lots of reasons:
Better for your body. Produce in your grocery store may have been shipped 2000 miles to get to you, losing freshness and nutrients during the journey. Local food is eaten sooner, so it’s fresher, tastes better, and is more nutritious.
Better for the environment. Did you know most food is trucked 1000 miles or more before it hits your grocery shelves? That’s a lot of fuel and a lot of polluting emissions
Better for your community. Spend more of your dollars supporting the businesses right in your neighborhood.
Better for your tastebuds. Fresher food tastes better, and local providers often take extra care in producing the best quality food they can, instead of the cheapest, or most efficient.
Better for your air. By supporting local farms, you help ensure their success, thus keeping greenspace green!