For many people, eating local food is often one of those things that’s “easier said than done.” Sure, there are all kinds of “crazy” local diets out there, (the 100 mile diet is often toted as one,) but for a lot of people, it’s downright impossible to eat only local foods, for whatever reason. Fortunately, eating local foods doesn’t have to be that difficult.
Going Green: What Is A Locavore?
The term “locavore” is relatively new (it was added to the dictionary approximately 3 years ago, according to Locavores.com.) Generally, locavore is used to describe a person who only eats locally grown and produced foods. However, the definition can vary from group to group, as some people may claim a locavore is anyone who eats only foods produced in their country, while other people may only eat foods grown or produced within 50 miles of their house, while others still only eat foods that they’ve grown in their own backyard.
What Are The Benefits of Eating Locally Grown and Produced Foods?
The benefits of eating locally grown and produced foods are literally endless. Not only are you likely to be consuming more fresh foods, but you’re also driving up your local economy. By purchasing locally grown and produced foods, you’re supporting local farmers, small family farms and you’re supporting local business.
Furthermore, you’re also significantly reducing your carbon footprint. Buying locally grown foods cuts down on the use of natural resources like coal and oil, which weren’t used when your food wasn’t shipped from over 1,000 miles away.
So Where Can I Find Local Foods?
Finding locally grown and produced foods is incredibly easy. Just check out your local farmer’s market or even your local flea market. (It’s true, here in Grand Rapids, Michigan; there are several farmers who have fruit and vegetable stands at the flea market.)
But I Live In A Northern State, How Can I Eat Locally?
The reality is, “in the old days,” people would can and preserve their own locally grown (probably in their own backyard, even) foods and then use them throughout the winter. After all, you purchase canned goods from your local grocer, so of course, you can do your own canning. It’s surprisingly easy and in the long run, you’ll save money. (Check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation for tips on how to can at home.)
I’m Not Ready To Commit To A Locavore Diet, What Else Can I Do?
Committing to a local foods only diet can be difficult and not everyone is ready for, or willing, to eat only local foods. You’ll likely have to avoid certain restaurants (including fast food, which for many of us, probably isn’t a bad idea.) But, if you still want to make a difference without sacrificing your entire lifestyle, considering committing to eating a specific group of local foods. (Those interested should check out EatLocalChallenge.com; where they challenge you to pick, commit to and eat 5 local foods.)
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