Eating Local 101
Changing lifelong eating habits can be a daunting and expensive task. Whether its for environmental, health, economic, or moral reasons, or if you just want you food to taste better, Local food is the way to go! But where do you start? remain calm, we are here for you! Here are our favorite ways to help people just like you start eating more local, organic, and free-range food.
- Change just one thing. One of the easiest and most rewarding ways to start eating locally is to replace one thing that you usually eat with the same item from a local farmer. We promise, once you taste your first homegrown tomato, those mushy grocery store lumps will never be as appealing.
- Get out of the grocery store. Yep, that’s right. Food can be had other places than a grocery store! In almost every community, there is a farmers market every Saturday morning. Don’t be afraid to ask how your food was grown, and feel free to ask for recipes! If they grow it, you can be sure they know the best way to eat it.
- Or change how you shop at them. More major chain grocery stores are carrying locally grown, organic food.
- Add one new food a month. Not a big fan of iceberg lettuce? There are literally thousands of types of heirloom (as in old types not found in stores) lettuces. If you dislike salad, maybe your lettuce is to blame. Add that seasonal tomato and a farm-fresh cucumber and you are in business. Heck, you could try several new veggies at once with a good lettuce as a base! Plus, the fresher the veggie, the more nutrients it has.
- What came first, the chicken or the egg? Well really, who knows? But with new safety recalls from the big chicken factory farms coming out so often, local eggs are definitely on the easy-to-buy-local list. An average pasture-raised chicken produces eggs that are more nutritious and, yes, you guessed it, better tasting than anything you can purchase at the grocery store.
- Eat less meat, but eat better meat. If you regularly choose to eat meat, try replacing either your favorite cut with one from a local, free-range or pastured animal like the ones our farmers raise. These animals are raised humanely, and without additional growth hormones or antibiotics to help them gain weight fast.
- Learn how to handle, store, and cook fresh produce. Learn to master your kitchen by sharpening your skills! You don’t have to have a fancy, expensive stove to be a good cook. Your agricultural extension office or local community college can often direct you to an affordable (sometimes free!) cooking class. Youtube can also be your new kitchen BFF.