How to become a locavore (or at least come close!)
Locavores, or those who try to eat only food items that have been grown within 100 miles, are expanding at an amazing rate. Can you blame them? Eating local minimizes your food’s carbon footprint and puts fresher food into your belly. Okay, okay, so some of us aren’t ready to convert into full-fledged locavores just yet, but even the smallest efforts can make a big difference. Take these steps in your meal planning and start eating local today!
Grow a Garden
A garden is a wonderful way to add a little green to your backyard or windowsill and eat local. Start with lettuce and carrots, for salad-lovers. Herbs like chives, basil, and rosemary are also incredibly easy to grow. Experiment to make the perfect homemade vinaigrette and voila! You have an ultra-fresh backyard salad that you can enjoy from home.
Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share
The CSA process is simple: you pay a farmer up front and, in exchange, the farmer sends you farm-fresh items weekly. If you like to cook, this could be a treat! Each week you get new foods, depending on what’s in season. If you have a smaller family, you could go “halfsies” with a friend or neighbor by splitting the farm items amongst yourselves. Find the CSA that’s right for you on the Local Harvest website.
Know Your Seasons
In this day and age, we’ve lost our ability to instinctively know when foods are in season. Learn which food items are in season and plan meals accordingly to potentially cut thousands of miles out of your food’s travel. Smart Living gives lists of seasonal foods for each state.
The mantra behind going local? Knowledge is power. Locavores believe that you should know where your food is coming from. Not only does this give you a better connection with your food, it also leads to the ingestion of healthier food. Indulge your curiosity by researching how your food is processed, grown, and harvested. Learn what all the labels mean at the grocery store, ask lots of questions, and eat smart.
Going local isn’t as hard as you might imagine. In fact, it’s fun! Pick a place to start, go out there and eat local.
James Kim is a writer 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.