Many cities are lucky to have an abundance of resources for local and organic foods. Many, my city included, do not. Typically Local Food refers to food found within 100 miles of your home. I am not in an area where this is always possible and I suspect many of you are not either. I have two great resources I would like to share with you.
www.localharvest.orgis a great website. Search-able by state or product this database will point you in the direction of local food, produce, products, CSA’s and farmers markets.
This is a great site for general information about eating local. I found the following Guidelines on their web-page. I think these guidelines offer a great wrap up to my Eat Local series.
Guidelines for Eating Well
If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic. This is one of the most readily available alternatives in the market and making this choice protects the environment and your body from harsh chemicals and hormones.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm. When faced with Kraft or Cabot cheeses, Cabot, a dairy co-op in Vermont, is the better choice. Supporting family farms helps to keep food processing decisions out of the hands of corporate conglomeration.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business. Basics like coffee and bread make buying local difficult. Try a local coffee shop or bakery to keep your food dollar close to home.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Terroir, which means ‘taste of the Earth’. Purchase foods famous for the region they are grown in and support the agriculture that produces your favorite non-local foods such as Brie cheese from Brie, France or Parmesan cheese from Parma, Italy.
Hit the farmers’ market before the supermarket. Plan your meal around local ingredients you find at the market.
Branch out. Maybe your usual food repertoire could use some fresh ideas. The farmers’ market provides a perfect chance to try a new ingredient when it’s in season, and lets you talk to its grower to find out the best way to prepare your new food. Flirt with your food producer!
Feed the freezer. Can’t cook every night? Worried about your fresh produce going bad? It’s easy. Make lasagna with local tomatoes or a soup packed with fresh veggies and freeze it! You can also make personal size meals for a brown bag lunch.
Thanks for taking the time to read about Eating Local. Remember it’s not about building a city in one night but about laying the foundations one brick at a time. So go out there and support a local farmer. Many of us receive praise and thanks in our daily jobs. Most farmers do not. If you can’t buy from a local farmer, at least say “Thank You!”
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