“Be a Locavore.” Shopping local can be very powerful for your community’s economy and environment. Ultimately, it can be very powerful for your health and wellness.
I eat locally as much as possible because I believe it is what is best for me and my family. Give me a chance to tell you why.
Let Me Convince You.
Reason 1: Local farmers pick their produce days before it is on your table. The produce you buy at the grocery store has set on a truck for days. it was picked in a green unripe state, and ripened on the truck on its’ way to you. What does this mean for nutrition? It is not as nutrient dense as the produce that ripened on the vine. The vitamins and minerals aren’t as rich because they didn’t have a chance to develop in their natural state.
Reason 2: It tastes better. You shouldn’t take my word on this, you should try it for yourself. I know you have probably had tomatoes from someone’s garden and thought wow this is so much better. All local food tastes like this. Additionally - this increases my success rate with my little one (to be honest it does with my husband too).
Proving Reason 1: Flavor is an indicator of the nutrients in your food. These foods are more nutrient dense and therefore they have a lot more flavor than conventional produce.
Reason 3: Food lasts longer. You are paying more for organic food and you don’t want to waste it. It lasts longer because it didn’t sit on a truck to get to you. My local eggs last me a month before they go bad. I have found that this really helps with my ability to get all the veggies on the table before they go bad.
How to do it.
Let’s start basic… just start working to know what is in you food. Start looking at labels at the grocery store, pay attention when something has a local tag. Maybe get out and try a farm to table restaurant. Understanding where foods items come from takes time and effort.
Start cooking seasonally, that means using ingredients that are harvested in that season. These are fruits and veggies that are naturally growing at the time, not ones that need a greenhouse to survive. Here is a website that will help you know what to buy.
Buy a seasonal eating cookbook to give yourself a jump start. Since you are cooking seasonally you will be able to get most of your ingredients at a Farmer’s Market or they will be cheaper at the grocery store due to the surplus.
Get your family out of the house on Saturday morning and check out a local farmer’s market. Talk to the farmers and ranchers. They love what they do, and would love to tell you about it. Ask they about how they care for their animals, or fertilize their product. Some of them have CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) that deliver the fruits and veggies to your porch… I mean can you beat that?
Look around on FB and Google for local farm connections. Sometimes people set up a CSA that connects you to all kinds of farmers and ranchers. I go to a place that has all my local meat, dairy, produce, and even coffee.
If all this is too much
Just take one challenge. Go to a local farmer’s market and buy the ingredients you need to make dinner that night. Just keep the meal simple, you can do this.