The Easy Guide to Eating Local

Guest Blog by James Kim

Eating local reduces your food’s carbon footprint while bringing fresher food to your plate. Because local food spends less time traveling from farm to market, it not only benefits the environment, it benefits your stomach too! Local produce is fresher and more nutrient rich than even organic food. While it would be nearly impossible for local food to constitute an entire balanced diet, there are easy ways to put some local food into your meal planning.

Go to a Farmers’ Market First

Before you start planning your meals, go to the farmers’ market and see what they’ve got. Start with local food and then supplement what you can’t find at the farmers’ market with organic food found at the grocery store. Usually, farmers’ markets are only open on the weekends, so plan your weekday meals around your Sunday, farmers’ market finds. Find a farmers’ market near you on the USDA website.

Find Local Food Restaurants

Do a little research and find some local food restaurants in your area. Ask farmers at farmers’ markets if they sell to any restauranteurs or check search engines like the Eat Well search to find some local food restaurants in your area.

Join a CSA

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) gives you an opportunity to get farm-fresh food delivered straight to your home weekly for a seasonal price. Find CSA farmers on the Local Harvest website. This website also provides viable information on how to choose the right CSA program/farmer for your needs.

 Preserve Local Food for the Winter

There are plenty of ways to preserve your local food. You can make a jelly or jam or even pickle some vegetables. You could also try making a freezer-friendly dish out of your local food (try a vegetable-packed lasagna, for example). To learn how to pickle or make jelly, go to the National Center for Food Preservation website.

So there you go, just a few easy and simple ways to go local. Once you start implementing these tips into your daily routine, you’ll surely never go back.

 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.

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