Friday, April 11, 2008

Are you a locavore?

The word locavore was the Oxford Dictionary word of the year for 2007. But do you know what a locavore is?

locavore--the name of a person who only eats locally grown and produced foods

The word didn't even exist until 2005! The locavore movement began in San Francisco when a group of "concerned culinary adventurers" challenged people to eat local foods only for the month of August back in '05.

Over the past year or two, I think we've all begun learning why it's so important to eat foods grown close to home. Supporting our local farmers helps our local economies. Big corporate owned factory farms put more and more family owned farms out of business every day.

Did you know that our food travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to our supermarkets? So how fresh do you really think those strawberries in your refrigerator are? Buying food in this way (the way that most of us Americans do), has detrimental effects on our economy, global warming and our health.

I just finished the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It's a year spent in the life of Barbara and her family who, for a one year period, live the lives of locavores. On their Virginia farm, they grow mostly everything they eat. And the rest is all local--with the exception of a few staples like coffee and spices. Most of us aren't going to be able to grow all of our own food. But I highly recommend this book. It really is something that we need to think about as the outlook for our planet grows more and more dire on a daily basis.

We don't need to have an all or nothing mentality about it. Personally speaking, I've begun to really read the labels of products. When I ran out of honey recently, I chose the honey produced in New Jersey as oppose to the kind that was flown in from far away. When our local farmer markets open for season, I'll spend an extra few dollars to buy produce there. Baby steps count!

Read more about it...

(Pic came from here...)


Michelle said...

For those in Boston:

And for everyone, you can find local a CSA, farmer's market, etc. here:

Michelle said...

Let's try those links again!

For those in Boston

For everyone, find a local CSA, farmer's market, etc. here

Jesser said...

AVM is such a great book. It really did open my eyes. Like you, I can't exactly grow it all (though when we buy a new house, I'd love to have some sort of garden!), but I am trying to buy more things that are local and in season. It's we consumers who can really make the biggest impact. We've got our CSA shares coming in this summer and I've found a few soruces for local dairy and some toher things.