by Katie LaFond
Step 6: Locate Local Food Options
- Local farmers will often let you use your own containers, reducing the amount of plastic you take home
- Eating locally can allow you to develop a relationship with the land, animals, plants, and farmers that feed you and your family. Feeling a connection to that which nourishes us is something that my family cherishes. We take a moment to give thanks before eating, often saying our farmers’ names aloud.
- Farmers’ Markets can be found in many communities during the summer and even the
winter. I have even found Farmers’ Markets on the Mass Turnpike!
- Helpful resources: CISA, Local Harvest.
- Eat food that is in season. It is often available more locally, and connect you to the cycles of the land where you live. For example, where I live, I eat asparagus and fiddleheads in the early spring, broccoli in the spring, peas in the early summer, zucchini in the summer, tomatoes in late summer, squash and apples in the fall, and root vegetables (onions, potatoes, beets, carrots) over the winter.
- Join a CSA or two. Veggies, meat, milk and cheese shares are widely available in both the city and rural areas.
- If you have the space, start a garden. Nothing is more local than your back yard! There are lots of great resources for beginning gardeners available for free online. Start by growing just one or two of your favorites.
- Be brave! Take a new food home each week and learn how to cook it. If you don’t like it at first, try one bite each day for a week. Taste can be acquired.
- It may be more expensive to eat locally, but remember that it doesn’t need to be shipped long distance and buying local food stimulates the local economy. “Cost” is so much more than a price tag.
- Cook big batches, and package meals in reusable containers (repurposed spaghetti sauce jars) to freeze for nights that you’re tempted to get take out. Remember to leave a little space at the top of glass jars before freezing!
- Processed foods come in a lot of packaging. Eating less processed food will significantly reduce your waste stream (and improve your health).
This is part seven of Katie’s thirteen-part series on walking lightly on the Earth. Read more: introduction, step 1 (recycle), step 2 (reuse), step 3 (reduce), step 4 (compost), step 5 (drive less).