A few years ago, a couple living in the Vancouver area got the idea to eat only what was grown or produced within 100 miles of where they lived for one whole year. They blogged about it and wrote a book about it. It became a movement called it the 100 Mile Diet. They became known as “locavores”- someone who is committed to eating food that is grown, caught or produced within their local community or region.
Why eat locally? What were they thinking?
Locavores believe that eating locally grown food is a good idea nutritionally, environmentally, economically and socially. It supports farmers and small business owners in their home communities. Conventional farmers only receive 20 cents of each food dollar spent compared to locally producing farmers who get up to 90 cents on each food dollar. The locally grown food is fresher, tastes better, is more nutritious and uses less energy to produce and transport. Much of our food is now transported hundreds or thousands of miles. In our modern age of food preservatives and additives, genetically altered crops and e.coli outbreaks, people are concerned about the quality and cleanliness of the food they eat. Local farmers/producers are able to provide a wider range of varieties since they are not selecting for produce that travels well or has a long shelf life.
Being a locavore should be a pleasure not a burden. Try to make changes that make sense for you or your family.
Buying food may be one of the most economic and political acts that you take part in every single day. A Canadian woman, Lynn Ogryzlo, proposes a challenge to the people of Ontario. Lynn has issued Ontario with the $10 Challenge, to which she says, "If every household in Ontario spent $10 a week on local food, we'd have an additional $2.4 billion in our local economy at the end of the year. Keeping our money circulating grows those dollars to $3.6 billion and creates 10,000 new jobs."
Check it out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRqcTcD0vrs
She suggests 3 steps:
Do a kitchen inventory to figure out what things do you already buy that are from Ontario. For example, Sifto Salt, White Rose Flour, or Unico/ Primo Tomatoes. Look at your produce, meat, eggs, dairy products, frozen foods.
Grow your inventory! When you go to the grocery store, seek out Ontario products.
Now, make a commitment to spend $10 a week on local or Ontario products. Start using the farmer’s market, local farm gate sales, preserve some food for winter/ off season!