I love the idea of Blog Action Day to bring awareness to environmental issues. I’m looking forward to reading what other people, more importantly those who I don’t already read, are saying about their thoughts on the environment and environmental issues.
My contribution is quite simple: eat as local as possible.
- Start a garden This year my family has become a lot more involved in the local food movement for several reasons. I think it’s important to remove miles off the food that is finding its way to my table. The easiest way to do that was by planting a garden in our backyard. There simply isn’t a better way to remove food miles when you simply have to walk out your back door and grab the food. Obviously it is a lot easier if you have a backyard 😉 I have smaller lot but there is plenty of room for a pretty large garden. You don’t have a backyard? You can still do container gardening and the amount of food that is available even this way is pretty astounding. Fresh herbs, tomatoes, beans, etc. are all at your reach this way.
- Attend a farmers market For many of us this is a great option. I am blessed to have great farmer’s markets available in my area. I work in downtown Chicago which has fantastic markets on Tuesday and Thursday throughout the summer. One of the amazing things about shopping at a farmer’s market is how it starts to reconnect you with the seasons. Unlike the local grocery store you’re not going to get strawberries throughout the growing season: you’re going to get them in late spring. The rest of the produce works the same way 😉 You get connected more to the seasons and what you eat. You learn how to cook differently because you learn more ways to cook what is currently available. Give it a try…you won’t be disappointed.
- Subscribe to a CSA CSA – Community Supported Agriculture. You pay a fee for the season and each week you get fresh produce in a box delivered to a drop-off point near your home. See my comments above about connection to the seasons and new ways of cooking. Like a farmer’s market but delivered almost right to you door. And in many cases you can help out on the farm too if you want…
- Other ways of eating local I also try to buy as much as I possibly can that is produced close to my home (your definition of close may be different than mine as I live in a major metro area where this stuff is a bit easier). I try to buy eggs and meat close to home. When I go shopping at the grocery store I look for items that are produced locally and buy those over other options that aren’t even if the local item costs more.
There you have it. My short and sweet list of ‘how to eat local’. I am not above buying non-local items. I want citrus, olive oil, coffee, etc. I just try to offset that with buying as locally as I can. Even in the case of coffee I buy from a local roaster. Sure the beans aren’t local but they do give a damn about the quality of the beans and the quality of life the farmers have. There’s a lot to be said in that.
Get out there. Research what options you have and pursue them. You’ll help local business. You’ll help the environment. You’ll feel good about yourself. What’s wrong with that?