Eating Local: How to Eat like a Locavore

As of late, many people have been converting into “locavores”: those who eat namely locally grown food. Sometimes going organic isn’t enough to save the environment, but checking the food miles of the items you purchase is a good start. Has it travelled a long way? It is always better to consume local organic produce because it minimizes your food’s carbon footprint, supports local business, and allows you to bring fresher food to your kitchen. Happy stomach, happy planet — it’s a win-win. So how can you become a locavore? Read on to learn how you can integrate locally grown foods into your meal planning.

  • Visit a farmers’ market or farm stand: Farmers’ markets allow local farmers to sell directly to the consumers. Through these venues, you can meet the person who has grown your food! The food comes straight from the farm to the market, giving you fresher food that’s at its nutritional peak.  The USDA provides a farmers’ market search engine and you can also check out the Australian Farmers Market Association that can help you find your nearest farmers’ market.
  • CSA: The CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a program through which a farmer can offer a box of fresh farm products to the public in exchange for a flat rate “subscription” or “membership.” Local Harvest describes CSA in full, while providing tips on picking a good farmer for your family. In addition to this, many organic home delivery services such as Organic Angels can provide a seasonal box of local produce, ask your supplier if this is possible.
  • Find a local food restaurant: Believe it or not, local food restaurants are becoming more and more popular. Ask around (neighbours, friends, coworkers) to see if there is a local food restaurant or stand near you. If you visit a farmers’ market, ask the farmers if they would mind giving you a list of restauranteurs they sell to. Search engines like Organic Highways and Organic Kitchen could also help you find nearby local food restaurants.
  • Grow it yourself: Plant some herbs, tomatoes, beans, sprouts, or berries. Growing your own food is the most inexpensive (not to mention fun) way to get some local food. If you have a bigger back yard and can spare a couple of hours on the weekend for gardening, planting may be the best option for you.

So there they are: the quick n easy tips for become a locavore. All it takes is a little research and some extra time to help the environment and your stomach. Eat organic and go 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.

15 Comments

  1. hi
    I found you article very interesting. I do not eat meat, and try to buy mostly organic fruit, vegetables, milk and butter. I now have 3 hens that lay beautiful eggs. So I too am trying my best to eat healthily. I am growing some herbs thyme, basil, rosemary and bay, also tomatoes and chilli peppers.

    Reply
  2. The great things about buying local food is it can solve all of the problems listed above. If you’ve never grown your own food or experienced the joy of eating a freshly picked tomato from the farmers market, you’re missing out! Not only is it a journey for all of your senses, locally produced foods are tremendously beneficial for your community, your health, and the environment.

    Reply
  3. Dan

    Growing our own food and buying from local markets is going to be vital in the near future. The world certainly has a food shortage, and that’s a documented fact. These shortages are causing food prices to rise globally and more and more people are going hungry and can’t afford food everyday.

    We are not doing much to help the situation either in this country by having more corn going to ethanol production instead of producing food. I agree, locally grown produce and livestock are the future and decentralizing from big agriculture.

    Reply
  4. kedr

    Thanks for this great article. We grow a few herbs at home and they taste wonderful. Our friend has a farm and recently brought us a few cucumbers and tomatoes…they tasted so much better than supermarket food.

    Reply
  5. Some great points were outlined in this blog post. I would strongly consider you get it locally from your farmer, as it cheaper and you have more trust that it is grown properly. When you go to a store you don’t really now what’s going on. You trust the certification but that’s all you can really do. If your friendly with your farmer you can go see how the animals are actually raised and see the conditions in which they live in.

    Reply
  6. Hi,
    Yes it’s true. I live in London and have to go a supermarket if you want to buy apples. You see they are come from New Zealand and it’s completely absurd. And when you discover that some organic products come from the other way of the world. It’s an nonsense. How can we make people buying organic products which consume more in CO2 in the transport than to buy an non organic product ?

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  7. Growing our own food has a lot benefits for us because you will no longer think about its nutritional value because you know that your food was planted naturally without pesticide.

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  8. Local food is great for those of us who can swing it, but what are the alternatives during the winter months, and those of us who live faraway from fams? I recall some studies saying that flash frozen food is actually healthier than “fresh” (refrigerated) long distance transported food.

    Reply
  9. Love the idea of the CSA. My wife and I started doing this in the summer, it was great! We got a ton of stuff we wanted each week and we would also be surprised each week with veggies we had never tried before, like kale and chard which are now huge fans of.

    Reply
  10. This is a great post. I like the concept of “locavores”. I am lucky in that I live on an island in Thailand, and we have excellent organic outdoor markets here. There are a lot of what they call hypermarkets, such as Tesco, but mainly the Thais still support small farmers, as the quality is so much better!

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  11. Great article, great insights! Organic food is coming ‘back’ into being again – even in India. Thanks to bloggers, media and the world becoming a smaller place, exchanging ideas and news has become so much easier! I run http://www.esvasa.com, India’s premier site on promoting organic food & healthy living. Great to connect with people who think healthy!
    Cheers!
    Vandana

    Reply
  12. I can’t wait until spring when the farmers markets have something grown locally available. When you live in a cold climate, local grown produce is cherished during the short growing season.

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  13. Sam

    Hi,
    my name Sam, thank you for all these useful tips of buying and eating organic foods and ingredients. I am a student in Bangkok, Thailand and I have been wondering how to have a organic diet for a long time. After reading your blog, I did a research on the CSA of my country. I found out that there is a few CSA’s that I could contact and I was hoping I could ask you a few questions about local and organic diets. For instance what are the benefits and consequences of this diet?

    Reply
  14. I think most people don’t buy local produce because of the savings offered by cheaper food sold by the big supermarket companies. I find growing my own vegetables is the best options and I get my eggs from my parents who own four chickens.

    Reply
  15. Khristyan

    Imagine a world where people were developing illnesses just because of the fact that they are consuming food. Current farms are increasing the use of chemicals in their crops in order to improve their growth rate and their resistance to diseases and pests. As a result, supermarket shelves are being loaded with contaminated food, which bring us to wonder: “Is organic food the solution?”
    In fact, it is firmly confirmed that organic food is much healthier compared to those in which pesticides were used during their growth. Another benefit of organic food is that its flavor and quality overcomes the ones of non-organic, which makes it more pleasant to our palate. Needless to say, consuming organic food is undoubtedly a way for us to not only preserve our health but also help environment healing. In other words, the production of organic food helps the world become greener.
    However, organic food production costing outweighs the costing of non-organic, which takes farmers to prefer the conventional method. Moreover, organic crops are more susceptible to pests and diseases, which means that they require more care. Another drawback is that organic food output rate is low, therefore, it ends up being charged for a high price, making it be considered a high-society food.
    In conclusion, although organic food is a considerable solution to bar contaminated food consumption, it is yet difficult for farm to produce sufficient quantity that would be able to feed the entire planet. We need to focus on studying a way that could help organic food output increase in a way that it equalizes non-organic. Naturally, its costing would decrease and it would become affordable for the whole society.

    Reply

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