You’ve probably heard all of the reasons to go local: it helps the environment and local economy, etc. But how can you go local in your meal planning? Here are some easy tips to help you get started.
Take a Trip
Take the whole family to visit a nearby farm. You can purchase local food while learning about the origins of your food. This could be a great educational field trip for the kids! Don’t know any farms in your area? Find one using on the Eat Wild website.
U-Pick farms are another way to make eating local fun. Take a date to a u-pick farm and pick peaches straight from the tree. You only have to pay for what you’ve picked! Try the Pick Your Own website to find a U-Pick farm near you.
Know Your Seasons
Yes, you can get access to nearly every fruit and vegetable all year round, but buying food in season can cut miles out of your food’s travel time. Smart Living provides a search engine which lays out the seasonal food for each state. Print out the seasonal items for your state and throw them on the fridge. Learn them, know them, and shop by them.
The most common way to go local is to buy from farmers’ markets. The best part about shopping at farmers’ markets? Meeting exactly who has been harvesting your food. Farmers’ markets give you the opportunity to ask farmers what pesticides or kind of fertilizers they use. This way, you can assure that your food is organic and local. You can find these markets by visiting the USDA website, which contains a farmers’ market search engine.
Local Food Producers
Endorse local artisans! Buy from local bakeries, coffeehouses, butcheries, and ice cream stores. These artisans will provide you fresh and delicious local eats. Get involved with your community, minimize food waste, and put fresher, nutrient rich food into your body by eating local. Follow these easy tips and know that you’re doing something good for your family and your planet.
James Kim writes for foodonthetable.com. Food on the Table is a company that provides online budget meal planning services. Their goal is to help families eat better and save money.
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