A Guide to Eating Local

Learn How to Eat Local from Farmers Markets to the 100-Mile Diet

It should be no surprise that eating locally can be one of the ways for you to reduce your environmental impact. And far from boring, mundane, or monochromatic, a local diet is easily more adventurous and interesting than one sustained only by trips to the supermarket. Along with all of the other great benefits of eating locally - aesthetic, environmental, financial, societal - can also be great for your health. Read our tips to buying local and benefits of eating a locavore diet article to get all of the details.

One way to ensure that you’re only eating local food is to shop for seasonal produce. After all, if it doesn’t grow in season, your local farmer isn’t likely to be able to bring it to market, so eating seasonally is just one mental shift you can make to incorporate more local foods into your diet. Our seasonal eating guide will give you the basics of cooking seasonally with resources and common lists of seasonally available foods.

Beyond just eating seasonally, the local diet options are many, giving you several ways to incorporate locally grown food into your everyday diet. For instance, you could simply shop at a local farmer’s market where you’ll find lots of variety of foods grown and prepared by farmers and bakers in your local community. It’s a fantastic way to get to know your neighbors, try new and interesting foods, support your local economy, and find organics right in your own region. We’ve got all of the tips and tricks you need to locate your local farmers market and how to find the best vendors for your eco-friendly lifestyle.

If you’re short on time but looking to support family farms while enjoying organic produce grown close to home, then a community supported agriculture (CSA) project or food co-op might be the way to go. These systems allow you to formalize a relationship between you and a local farm to guarantee you a steady supply of fresh produce, often delivered right to your door! These are highly convenient options and come with many of the same benefits of shopping at a farmers market without the car trip. Need help finding a local CSA or food coop? Check out our food cooperative and CSA guide to locating these local food sources along with tips on how to choose the greenest one of the bunch.

Of course, if you’re really serious about eating locally, then you ought to check out the 100-mile diet movement. By seeking out those foods produced within a 100 mile radius of where you eat, you’ll be forced to think hard about what is grown hyper locally and what is not. Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of being able to explore hidden treasures in the agricultural world of your community - you never know what interesting tomato varieties or squash variations you’ll find until you look! A full-on 100-mile diet isn’t easy, but we’ll help you through the maze with all of the basic information you’ll need to get started.

Finally, perhaps the most extreme would be to try to grow all of your own food in an attempt to cultivate a zero mile diet plan. While you don’t have to take the restriction to the extreme, exploring how to take control of your own food sources by creating a healthy organic garden of your own is the ultimate locavore option. 

Most people don’t really think about where their food comes from. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of eating locally is that you  no longer take food for granted. So dive in, choose local, and you’ll find a world of culinary adventure just waiting to be had… locally.


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