Summer is here! I love it, and not for the obvious reasons of warm weather, beaches and vacation time. I love it because produce is in abundance! Berries, tomatoes, lettuce, beans… I am like a kid in a candy store. This is also the time of year when I make a pledge — no more store-bought produce until the Fall (with the exception of things we can’t grow here like bananas). That’s right. I’m all local — a locavore (or localvore) to be exact. I wait with great anticipation for my favorite local farm to open, as well as the weekly Farmer’s Markets.
Why do I do this? For the flavor and freshness, of course! But also to support these local farmers who work so hard, for so very little. I’m also concerned about the carbon footprint on our planet. Do I really need to eat fruit from Chile when I can get it right down the road from where I live? There is something to be said about knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown. And how lucky are we to have these beautiful farmsteads in our own backyards? Eating local also forces us to eat in season. This is how our ancestors ate and it is the best way to eat for vibrant health. Fresh is best! There is no greater joy than the summer’s first vine-ripened tomatoes. However, eating food that is not irradiated and robbed of its enzymes (like store-bought) to make it last longer, means “truly fresh” will spoil within a few days. You must shop every 2 days and buy just what you need. What a drag, you may think. Not me. Every day, there is a new offering and I try them all! “What looks good today”, is the question I always ask.
Another myth I would like to dispel, is that shopping local is more expensive. Not true. (However, it can get expensive if you let it spoil). Here is a list of foods from a recent trip of mine:
2 dozen farm-fresh eggs
2 small onions
Small bag of potatoes
Bunch of spinach
Large bag of mixed greens
1 broccoli head
Small bag of sugar-snap peas
Head of broccoli
Total cost: $21
So come on, no more excuses! Take the pledge: I promise to only buy from my local farms and farmers markets until the Fall.
Try it and let me know. I’m sure you will go loco for local just like me!