Monday, April 18, 2016

Money Crashers: How to Eat Local

So far, in my work for Money Crashers, I've written several times about article to eat sustainably. I've already covered organic foods, vegetarian diets, and Fair Trade, so I guess it was only a matter of time before I tackled the same subject from yet another angle: eating local.

Like the other food-related topics I've covered, this is a type of eating I've dabbled in myself but never quite gone all the way with. Last June, for instance, I embarked on a local produce challenge, attempting to eat only Jersey-grown produce for one week. This wasn't all that strict a challenge, since (a) it was only a week and (b) only fruits and veggies had to be locally grown; we didn't even attempt to find local sources of, for example, wheat flour, sugar, or milk. And yet even with the bar set fairly low, we didn't exactly manage to stick to the letter of the challenge. We ate a lot of locally grown produce during a ten-day period, but there was no consecutive seven-day period during which we ate no produce from anywhere else.

Our experience illustrates both the benefits and the challenges of being a "locavore." On the one hand, during our local-produce week, we ate a lot of really good, healthy meals with tasty, seasonal veggies. We tried foods we might not have bought in the store, and we supported our local farmers at the same time. But on the other hand, we had to work harder to figure out recipes that would use nothing but the fruits and veggies available to us locally...and we still didn't succeed entirely, because our choices were limited.

My article on local eating goes into its benefits and challenges in more depth, exploring such questions as the relationship between eating local and eating organic, how supporting local farmers improves our nation's food security, whether it costs more or less money to eat a local diet, and the environmental trade-offs involved in eating an exclusively local diet. And to wrap it up on a practical note, I cover several different places to find locally grown food and ways to make the fruits of the harvest last longer.

Read about it here: How to Eat Local and Become a Locavore – Benefits & Challenges
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