As of late, many people have been converting into “locavores”: those who eat namely locally grown food. Sometimes going organic isn’t enough to save the environment, but checking the food miles of the items you purchase is a good start. Has it travelled a long way? It is always better to consume local organic produce because it minimizes your food’s carbon footprint, supports local business, and allows you to bring fresher food to your kitchen. Happy stomach, happy planet — it’s a win-win. So how can you become a locavore? Read on to learn how you can integrate locally grown foods into your meal planning.
Visit a farmers’ market or farm stand: Farmers’ markets allow local farmers to sell directly to the consumers. Through these venues, you can meet the person who has grown your food! The food comes straight from the farm to the market, giving you fresher food that’s at its nutritional peak. The USDA provides a farmers’ market search engine and you can also check out the Australian Farmers Market Association that can help you find your nearest farmers’ market.
CSA: The CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a program through which a farmer can offer a box of fresh farm products to the public in exchange for a flat rate “subscription” or “membership.” Local Harvest describes CSA in full, while providing tips on picking a good farmer for your family. In addition to this, many organic home delivery services such as Organic Angels can provide a seasonal box of local produce, ask your supplier if this is possible.
Find a local food restaurant: Believe it or not, local food restaurants are becoming more and more popular. Ask around (neighbours, friends, coworkers) to see if there is a local food restaurant or stand near you. If you visit a farmers’ market, ask the farmers if they would mind giving you a list of restauranteurs they sell to. Search engines like Organic Highways and Organic Kitchen could also help you find nearby local food restaurants.
Grow it yourself: Plant some herbs, tomatoes, beans, sprouts, or berries. Growing your own food is the most inexpensive (not to mention fun) way to get some local food. If you have a bigger back yard and can spare a couple of hours on the weekend for gardening, planting may be the best option for you.
So there they are: the quick n easy tips for become a locavore. All it takes is a little research and some extra time to help the environment and your stomach. Eat organic and go 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.