';

Go Local: Becoming a Locavore for Beginners



Eating locally grown food, or becoming a “locavore,” can be a great way to get fresher food to you table and get involved with your community. This trend in eating decreases the time from the farm to your table, thereby minimizing your cuisine’s carbon footprint. But not only is your food eco-friendly, it’s deliciously nutritious! Eating local decreases chances of food contamination because the food has not traveled so far to get to your home.

So how can you become a locavore? Read on to learn how to integrate local food into your meal planning routine.

Farmers’ Markets

Find a farmers’ market in your area. Farmers’ markets allow you to meet the farmer of your food, face-to-face, and buy directly from that person. If you are a foodie, you will probably enjoy forming a bond with your famers and asking them about the harvesting process. Many farmers even allow their customers to visit their farms which can be a fun yet informative experience. The USDA provides a search engine to help you find a farmers’ market near you.

CSA

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a program which allows you to get a box of food directly from a farmer in exchange for a flat rate. Local Harvest outlines the details of CSA, in addition to giving cautionary advice about choosing a good farmer for the job, on their website. CSA can be a fantastic way to get seasonal produce for the entire family to enjoy. If you’re not part of a bigger family, you can always split the cost and produce with a neighbor or friend.

Local Food Restaurants

Chances are, there is a local food restaurant near you. If you decide to go to a farmers’ market, ask farmers which restaurant owners they sell to. Ask friends and restaurant owners if they know of any local food restaurants in the area. Search engines like Organic Highways and Organic Kitchen can also help you get your hands on some already-prepared local food.

Garden and Grow

If you want something done right, do it yourself! Growing your own food is a inexpensive and rewarding way to get local food on your plate. While this option is time-consuming, gardening can be thereputic and fun. Try picking easy herbs and fruits to start out with. Easy herbs include cilantro, basil, chives, and rosemary. For fruits, try apples, blueberries, or raspberries.

So there they are, the quick n’ easy ways to get local food to your platter. Aid the environment, local economy, and even your stomach by going local.

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.