It is certainly now that glorious time of year again where farm fresh produce is abundant and our local farms are kicking into high gear. Over the past couple of years, and definitely during these warmer months, we have been exposed to the cry from the masses to "eat local"! I have often played my own hand at that, talking about different farms I frequent and markets I shop at. However, I still feel that there is some mystery about the easiest ways to eat local, so when writer James Kim asked if he could submit a piece on breaking down, "eating local" I immediately said yes.
James breaks down the best ways to find that local food around you, and a bunch of great on line resources to help you out. Without further adieu- I give you James Kim:
"How to Eat Local
You hear the benefits of eating local preached everywhere. Minimizes air pollution. Strengthens local economy. Gives you fresher food. The list goes on and on. But now you want to implement local foods in your meal planning. Here are some easy tips to help you get started.
Know Your Seasons
In our globalized economy, you can now buy nearly any grocery item year round. But buying food in season can cut miles and miles out of food travel and minimize air pollution. Smart Living provides a search engine which provides a list of seasonal food for each state. To help you and your family internalize your list of seasonal foods, create rituals! In summer, you can bake a pie out of your favorite seasonal fruit (find a great vegan pie crust recipe here). You could even go ultra-local and plant a fruit tree in the backyard. Imagine: fresh peaches, right in your backyard!
Find a farmers’ market near you by visiting the USDA website, which contains a farmers’ market search engine.
Take a Field Trip
No really. Take a “trip” to a “field” by visiting a nearby farm! Not only is this good ol’ fashioned fun, but it’s educational for the kids (in addition to yourself). Learn about the methods used to grow and harvest your food straight from the source. Find a local farm on the Eat Wild website.
Another great field trip to take? Head to the country and go to a u-pick farm. Here, you can pick your fruits or veggies straight off the farm and pay for what you’ve picked when you’re done. Try the Pick Your Own website to find a u-pick farm near you.
Eating local doesn’t have to be tedious. Take these steps to going local, and have fun doing it!
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."