Just how far are you willing to travel for your food? Would you drive to Florida from Maine in the middle of January just to get some oranges? I didnt think so! The “Eat Local Challenge” over at Eatlocal.net doesnt think you should do that either, thats why they are trying to help you to eat only local foods by explaining how food gets to you and just how much a farmer gets by shipping it all thousands of miles to your grocery store.
The amount of energy used to get produce and meat to your local grocery store is outrageous. Think of how much gas is used for 18 wheelers to truck certain foods from one side of the country to another…and then think of how much gas is used by your local farmer to drive to a few local farmer’s markets in your area. What a savings! Plus, the food you buy locally has usually been picked within the last day or so, and the farmer gets to keep most of the money you give for the product. Its a three way win – the farmer makes more money, you get fresher products, and the environment gets less polluted.
What, you dont think you can eat locally? Try these ideas from Eatlocal.net on for size:
10 Ways to Eat Locally
1 Shop weekly at your local farmers market or farm stand
2 Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and get weekly deliveries of the season’s harvest
3 Buy from local grocers and co-ops committed to stocking local food
4 Support restaurants and food vendors that buy locally produced food
5 Preserve food from the season , freeze, can, dry , to eat later in the year
6 Throw a “Locally-Grown Party” and serve all local food
7 Grow your own food in your yard or community garden plot
8 Visit local farmers and “u-picks”
9 Ask your grocer or favorite restaurant what local foods they carry
10 Visit the Eat Local resources web page
Eatlocal.net wants you to take the challenge and only eat locally produced food as much as possible for one week. Come on, one week…you can do it! Just because they are based in Portland doesnt mean that you have to be too, you can take part from anywhere. Here is more info on the challenge at Eat Local: Challenge.
Go ahead…give it a shot! I know that near my house, we have 4 farmers markets a week to shop at. While I realize that not everyone may have such an abundance of local food to pick from, I would venture to say that most people have some sort of local community market or the like they can buy their produce from instead of a big box store. Do you really want to eat lettuce that spent 5 days on a truck driving through the desert?
I know I dont. Not if I can help it.
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