The shorter the chain between raw food and fork, the fresher it is and the more transparent the system-Joel Salatin
I know I’m always trying to get people to grow some of their food but I also know the reality is that many people in our busy, urbanized world simply can’t. For those who have attained the higher levels of this life, age can be prohibitive. Maybe there is no safe place, maybe you have no time, maybe you physically can’t have the responsibility of a garden, you travel too much or maybe, just maybe, you don’t want to.
You can grow without growing.
And, we grow collectively every time someone steps away from the SAD, shifting the market a bit more in favor of real food.
Not gardening is not a reason to eat food from around the globe that you could have gotten close to home.
Local food means local growers and increased regional food security.
Local also means you can get food that is fresher and picked riper.
Local means you can know the grower and really know what they are putting on your food, increasing accountability.
Local circulates your money through your community at a higher rate than if you purchase goods from elsewhere.
Local participation builds the sense of community that makes localities stronger.
Local builds relationships.
Buying local makes you local. It is a form of community participation that has positive effects on you and and your neighbors.
Where to start:
Tap into the hunter gatherer in your genes and actively seek clean and local food. When you do, you are supporting those who grow.
Where do you find these growers? Some of us are lucky to live in areas with a strong and healthy local food system but most of us here in the US are not.
No matter where we live, there is a food awakening afoot.
Here are some resources to help you eat better and be a part of the movement:
Local markets and growers of all stripes can be located by zip code on the Local Harvest website.
The USDA has a farmers market database here.
Eat wild has a growing list of pasture based farms for the omnivores among us.
Local Dirt is another online resource to find local farms and growers.
Amish and Mennonite communities can be a source for local food. Ask around if there are some in your area.
Talk to everyone you can find who has a garden. Lots of us have more than we need and are happy to share with those who treasure it.
Ask your local grocer to carry local products. Repeat regularly. Then repeat again.
Make sure you buy the local stuff like crazy. YOU are the demand.
“Thanks, I got it from______.”
Spread the word! Talk up the local growers and producers. Your testimony is a powerful tool. Use it for the good of your community. As you do, you help create the demand that keeps the local food coming.
What about the rest of the year?
Live in an area with a short growing season? Learn to put food up to supplement your purchases with some local products. Canning, freezing and dehydrating are all making a resurgence in the US. Not an option? Find someone to do it for you. Buy local preserved and packaged foods, meats and dairy products, if you eat them. Veggies aren’t the only thing that has an origin location.
Chew on this
10 Easy Ways You Can Build a Better Food System by Food Tank’s Danielle Nierenberg.
I have said it before but, if you are interested in the power of local, you should read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It is worth your time to go on the local food journey her family took for a year.
Happy eating, Katy