Many thanks to James Kim from Food on the Table for this post that encourages us to eat local. Many local farms will actually deliver their produce straight to your door. It’s more than a trend – it just makes sense!
You can probably guess the benefits of eating local: it helps minimize air pollution and strengthens the local economy while providing you with fresher food. But how can you go local in your meal planning? Here are some easy tips to help you get started.
Take a Trip
Take the whole family to visit a nearby farm. Not only is this fun, but it’s educational for the kids (and yourself)! Here, you learn the methods used to harvest your food. Don’t know any farms in your area? Find one using the Eat Wild website.
U-Pick farms are another way to get yourself out to a farm. Grab a date and head out to a u-pick farm to pick your own fruits and veggies. Afterwards, you pay for what you’ve picked. Try the Pick Your Own website to find a u-pick farm near you.
Know Your Seasons
In our globalized economy, you can now buy nearly any grocery item year round. However, buying food in season cuts miles out of your food’s travel time. Smart Living provides a search engine which provides a list of seasonal food for each state. Create seasonal rituals that implement these food items. For example, in summer, make a pie out of your favorite seasonal fruit (find a vegan pie crust recipe here). This will help you and your family internalize your list of seasonal foods.
Farmers’ markets can be a fun way to get the freshest local treats. The best part about shopping at farmers’ markets? Meeting exactly who has been harvesting your food. While some local food does not have the USDA organic certification, you can ensure that the food is organic by USDA standards by asking your farmers questions about their food. Assure that your farmers have not used most conventional pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.
Find a farmers’ market near you by visiting the USDA website, which contains a farmers’ market search engine.
Local Food Producers
The easiest way to go local? Buy a loaf of bread from your local bakery or coffee beans from your local coffeehouse. Endorsing local eateries can help you build your community (while making you feel more a part of it!).
Follow these easy steps to get started on your new local diet. Helping the environment has never tasted so good.
James Kim is a writer for foodonthetable.com. Food on the Table is a company that provides online budget meal planning services. Their goal is to help families eat better and save money.