I am happy to say that I have jumped on the “eating local” bandwagon. To be honest, I have wanted to make an effort to eat locally grown, raised, and produced foods for quite a while, and luckily now that we live in Austin, it is much easier to do so. I guess for some this is an easy decision. For others, it may not be so easy. I understand that a lot of factors go into this decision, i.e. ease and availability of local produce, cost, etc., however I have been doing some research on some arguements on why to eat locally if you’re on the fence about it. Take a look at what I’ve found.
- When you buy direct from local farmers, your dollars stay within your community, and strengthen the local economy.
- More than 90¢ of every dollar you spend goes to the farmer, thus preserving farming as a livelihood and farmland.
- This is important because as mergers in the food industry have increased, the portion of your food dollar paid to farmers has decreased. Vegetable farmers earn only 21¢ of your dollar; the other 79¢ goes to pay for marketing, distribution, and other costs.
- CSAs (community supported agriculture) and farmers’ markets provide farmers with close to 100% of the food dollar (minus a fee or small percentage paid to the market for maintenance).
- Locally grown fruits and vegetables are usually sold within 24 hours of being harvested while on the other hand, food purchase in super markets, on average, travel 1,518 miles from field to fork.
I also want to invest in some reading material to help continue my knowledge about where my food comes from and what goes on “behind the scenes” before the food hits the table. My first purchase was Michael Pollan’s Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual which was recommended to me by a friend. This book has some basic, and witty, guidelines to eating wisely. My favorite being “Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food”. He gives a really funny example about ‘pseudo butter’ and GoGurt. I strongly recommend this one…it was money well spent!
Here are some other books that I am planning on purchasing (further reading, cookbooks, etc.)
One of these days, I’m going to have a house with a yard so that I can have my own garden. I don’t see that happening any time soon but it is a definite goal/plan of mine. I purchased this beautifully letter pressed calendar a few months ago at Austin’s first Renegade Craft Fair. I currently have it hanging in our kitchen purely because I love it’s design, however, one of these days I’m going to use it as a produce planting guide as well. It was made by Krank Press. I purchased the calendar that was specific to the items that grow best in Texas, however they have several different versions of the calendar based on your location. Check it out!