Eating Locally Grown Food

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
In comparison to the past two years, Michael and I have eaten more from this year's spring garden than ever before. That's partly because we planted more edibles, but also because we got an early start.

In addition to enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor, I've been following with interest the idea of eating
all locally grown foods. Certainly the food we grow in our garden is a start, but some people are taking it further by participating in the Eat Local Challenge that's going on this month. Take a look at Life Begins at 30, which lists 10 Reasons to Eat Local Food. As a gardener, I enjoy producing some of my own food because it's fresher and pesticide-free, it tastes better and keeps me in tune with the seasons, and it's just plain fun.

The
Eat Local Challenge suggests that participants commit to eating only foods that are grown or produced within a 100-mile radius of one's home. For me, I'm happy that would mean I could have all the Maryland blue crabs, Lancaster County dairy products, and Hershey's chocolate my heart desires!

Well, I'm not quite ready to commit entirely to an all-local diet. But I do think I'll take up the task of learning about what is grown and produced in my area. I've found a great starting point at
FoodRoutes, a website that allows you to type in your zip code and find markets and restaurants that offer local foods.

If you eat from your own garden, do you also try to find other locally grown foods?

4 Comments:

Anonymous Genie said...

Although I know I could significantly improve my track record on this front, I definitely do think about eating (and drinking!) locally. That's led to some delightful surprises: really tasty wine produced in Iowa, which I never would have expected; some of the most fabulous blue cheese (also Iowa-made) I've ever eaten; and, of course, so-good-you-can-eat-it-without-butter Iowa sweet corn.

My best starting point is the local farmer's markets, which have just started up again for the season in Iowa City. I don't know if I'm ready to commit to an all-local diet, either, but I'm definitely ready to start working my way through a healthy dose of local produce this summer.

There's nothing like a Maryland blue crab, though...you're very lucky to have those in your radius!

Genie
The Inadvertent Gardener

10:34 AM  
Blogger steven said...

I get a good amount of produce out of my own garden in season and we get excellent corn and tomatoes locally as well. There are also several good producers of meat and dairy products, including buffalo.

Wegman's
has a program where they buy local produce and sell it in their stores as well.

I try to buy local as much as I can, but there are things that I can't go without like anchovies and olive oil, but trying is better than not trying, no?

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Calendula & Concrete said...

Steven, I can't even imagine life without olive oil. I am definitely not giving that up!

Genie, you've made me hungry for sweet corn -- to go with the crabs! We probably have about a month until we can get good local corn around here.

11:04 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

We buy our meat from a farmer who produces venison and elk, and also resells some local poultry products like pheasant and muscovy duck. While it's nice that it's local, I admit that we eat these meats because they are organic and, well, just different from the usual grocery store fare. I am not always good about eating local perishables though. I should be making more of an effort. I don't grow my own food, but I am definitely thinking of patio tomatoes this year.

2:26 PM  

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