Sunday, July 6, 2008

In Praise of Being a Localvore

lovely farm and nature paintings/etchings by Art Hansen

Locovore/localvore (both spellings found)
the practice of eating food that is grown locally in order to support small business, build community and reduce greenhouse gases as local food does not require shipping across countries and continents.

We've talked about this kind of stuff before-- but it is a topic that I never tier of. Fancy diets, big companies trying to turn organic, eating more vegetables and less meat, all have been proposed to be kinder to the earth and our bodies. Many of these things intimidate most people who are in a hurry- and don't want to think that much about their food.

Turns out the easiest way to eat healthy and clean up the planet is to do our purchasing from companies who make what grows and lives close to home. The time of the small farmer and of homegrown garden is coming again. (amazing how things come back into fashion) Our ancestors did this out of necessity and common sense. Seems like those two motivators are ALSO coming back into fashion.

Eating local is easy, and if you changed even 20% of your purchasing power over to supporting local food growers the impact would be enormous. PLUS it tastes better and is generally better for you. Winning all around.

First steps to being a localvore-

*Find a farmer's market or csa in your area
*Plant something yourself- bucket tomatoes, a kitchen window herb garden, a fruit tree for your yard... something.
*Share your bounty with others- trade tomatoes with a friend who grows great eggplant, that sort of thing... mini co-ops!
*Look through your phone book in your area for small businesses producing food. You'll be surprised at how many entrepreneurs are in the food growing and creating business.
*Buy from smaller local groceries, and read your labels. When you go out to eat, choose mom and pop restaurants, bakeries etc. not chains- and ask where stuff comes from.

These steps are all simple and fun. By purchasing locally you will generally eat a more seasonal and earth friendly diet. PLUS like I said, it is all Much More delicious!

Eating is one of the most intimate things we do. And we all do it so it is also a great common denomimator. (I know all your internet traditions) Learning to really appreciate and enjoy what you eat brings a tremendous richness to life.

Tell your localvore story here;
Who makes what delicious treat in your area?
What is your area's seasonal bounty?
What is the best local eating joint in your town?
Do you have a farmers market? Have you visited a farm in the last 5 years?

Share please; I am starving to hear your stories!

Great reading/resource list about all things Localvore here.
Local Locator resources here.