Thursday, July 24, 2008

Go local

I have been on a mission to become a localvore. If you are wondering what that is, a localvore is is a person who eats only locally-grown and produced food. I am fortunate to live in a state that has a leading part in this movement. On top of of all of the local farmers, crafters etc in VT we are also lucky to have many locally owned restaurants and stores who support this effort by selling and using their products. With the oil issue being what it is now is the time to be looking inside your own state and finding what products you can buy locally instead of products that were shipped from across the country or from other countries.

Taking on this challenge hasn't been too hard. In the summer and winter I get all of my vegetables from a local CSA Farm Share and buy as much as I can locally of other products as well. My Eggs, maple syrup, butter, cheese, veggies, fruits, salad dressing and flour all come from VT. There are some things I have had to slide on. For instance I can't yet give up avocados or bananas. This movement has taught me though to shift my eating habits quite a bit. I have become more of a seasonal eater. Since I get all of my veggies from my local CSA I eat what I get from them. This means no salads in the winter because there isn't any lettuce. The summer months are filled with salads, tomatoes, squash, beans, carrots peas and greens. The winter months are filled with carrots, potatoes, fall squash, spinach and root vegetables. All foods they store all winter. I am able to get VT apples all winter too because Champlain Orchards does winter storage as well. On top of this I grow a small garden in my back yard. This year I have 6 monster tomato plants, 4 pepper plants, peas, beans, squash, corn, cucumbers and pumpkins.

Again this means shifting my fruit intake. I no longer buy apples from Argentina and New Zealand (where most are from in the grocery stores), I am trying to wean off of bananas, and I do still give in to grapes but only when they are from CA and not Mexico. I was giddy with joy when I went to the store yesterday to find organic local plumbs grown by Champlain Orchards where I also get my apples.

It is maddening to me how much of our food is produced outside of the US. Most of the big chain food stores do not list on their tags where the food is from but the local food coop that I shop at does. It is scary. VT is taking major leaps ahead in becoming a bit more self sufficient. It takes some adjustment in your diet but it is so worth it.

To learn more go HERE, HERE

1 comment:

Nuclear Mom said...

I was going to recommend the Slow Food website, but I see you have tagged it.

I agree with you completely. Better for us, better for the environment.

We really try to eat local. It is really easy to do so here in the summer, and living in the heart of wine country makes buying wine local easy too. Winter is harder. A lot harder actually. Ok, so we last year when we tried it, we pretty much ended up giving it up.

However, we do use our dehydrator nearly nonstop in the fall and do a lot of canning and freezing (we don't even like the taste of store bought spaghetti sauce anymore).