Tips Tuesday: 5 ways to eat local

A common trait amongst proponents of voluntary simplicity is the idea of eating closer to home. Trends like the hundred mile diet, a resurgence of farmers markets and an increased understanding of the massively destructive impact the food industry has are all contributing the rising popularity of eating local.

Here’s a list of 10 reasons to eat local: http://fogcity.blogs.com/jen/2005/08/10_reasons_to_e.html

Habits are hard to break though. And when you’ve gotten yourself into the routine of buying food from every corner of the globe, it can be daunting to know where to start.

Here are a few tips to help you out.

  1. Get in the habit of looking at where the produce you are buying comes from. We’ve been trained to look at price and brand-name only. When you’re shopping for fruits and veggies, take a look at where they are coming from as well and buy as close to home as possible.
  2. Shop at farmers markets. Farmer markets are growing in popularity and can be found in most towns and cities. Farmer markets let you buy local directly from the producer, supporting the local economy and helping you build relationships with the people who supply you with the most essential parts of your life. A quick Google search will show you where you can find the nearest market.
  3. Eat seasonal. Eating local year round can be tricky in a climate like Canada’s with its long winter months. There are a lot of great recipes out there though that will help you eat well and seasonally. Adjust your eating habits with the seasonal rhythms with recipes from sites like http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/seasonal/index.html.
  4. Relearn the lost art of preserving. It seems with the ready and cheap access of fruit from around the world, our generation has lost the art of preserves. As the cost of oil increases and transporting fruit long distances becomes more and more expensive, I have a feeling we’re going to see a renaissance of these types of lost arts. My stepmom and grandma eat peaches and strawberries and other local summer treats year round and it’s a great way to help you eat local all year round. Here’s a walkthrough for you: http://www.chow.com/stories/10693
  5. Write your grocery store and encourage them to provide more local options. We’re the demand side of the supply and demand formula and as such it’s up to us to speak up and say we’d rather have garlic in our grocery stores from down the road rather than from China.

Bon appétit!

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