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Locavores Love Home Grown Food

Feb 28, 2008
No it's not a recently discovered species of dinosaurs. The term "locavore" describes someone that likes to eat locally grown food. It's a trend that is not only good for the environment but good for small farmers and local agricultural industries.

The "eat local" trend is all about eating foods that do not need to be shipped thousands of miles before landing on your grocery shelf. It's about eating food that does not have to be laden with artificial substances to ensure that it lasts way beyond its natural period of freshness. Most importantly it's about adjusting our diets to eat food that is in season for the regions we live in and it's this last point that can be difficult for some.

Many of us have become accustomed to being able to purchase popular produce like strawberries and asparagus during times of the year when they are out of season for our region. That convenience has a significant impact on the environment when that strawberry has to be shipped via air or roadway from California to Ohio. According to the Washington non-profit group, Worldwatch, food sold in American supermarkets travels on average about 1,500 miles from the farm to the consumer. This represents a 25% increase from 1980.

That's a lot of fuel consumption and pollution creation all to satisfy our penchant for out of season and out of region foods. The challenge for supporters of the local food movement is to discover tasty and interesting diets that can be grown within a 100-300 mile radius of communities.

Do you know what kinds of local produce are available at different times of the year in your community? One of the best places to start this research is at your local farmers' market, food co-op or organic food store. In fact any local food shop that is focused on carrying healthy locally and ethically grown food should be able to give you some advice.

Community Supported Agriculture or CSAs are another new development in the local food movement that is helping to make the locavore lifestyle more sustainable. CSAs are an agricultural business model that helps to connect local organic growers directly with customers. They help struggling farmers to connect with a steady customer base.

Certain seasons are more difficult than others for locavores. It's no surprise that wintertime CSA distributions may have less variety than summertime distributions - but with come creativity and wonderful winter recipes eating local can be very tasty. Winter CSA distributions tend to include root vegetables that the farms have stored in cellars in addition to freshly harvested produce. Choices of produce for those of us in northern climates may include potatoes, kale, carrots, parsnips, leeks, beets and rutabagas.

The popularity of the locavore as a movement is helping to educate consumers about the nutritional and ecological benefits of eating locally. The more consumers know the more they'll demand the choice and availability of home grown food. This is great news for small farmers and entrepreneurs who all contribute to the home grown food we've all come to love and to re-discover with great enthusiasm.
About the Author
For over 20 years, Diana Walker has assisted people like you in using natural, safe options for creating vibrant health and well-being. Get her gems of wisdom and healthy recipes mini- e-book via her free newsletter at: www.diana2.com
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