Do you know where your food comes from? And I’m not just talking about the grocery store, the restaurant, or the burger shack. Do you really know where your food comes from? Do you know how it’s grown, how far it travels, or even, how healthy it is once it arrives? Earth Day is just around the corner, and one way to help the planet is to think about how your food affects the environment. If you don’t know, now it’s time to know.
If you’ve added more colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet, included protein and whole grains, and even opted for organic, then you’re on a steady road to a healthy body (don’t forget to work it out!). But as you become more conscious about your food choices, it’s also important to consider the road that your food takes to get to your plate. Choosing locally grown foods will ensure that you are not only helping the environment and your local economy, but also getting the most nutrients for your body. Go loca for local foods, and you’ll be sure to taste the difference!
Read the rest for more on local foods and tips to become a locavore.
No matter where you live, you can become a “locavore.” Yes, the name might sound rather hardcore, but in a way, it is. Locavores commit themselves to eating food that is grown and produced locally, and the definition of local can totally be determined by you. Some eat foods grown from within 100 miles , while others eat from within their geographic region. However you define it, local foods are better than the typical supermarket foods.
If a strawberry comes from Mexico, and you live in San Francisco, then the fruit was picked days, or even weeks before it arrived to the market. Most fruits and vegetables lose nutrients after being harvested, and keep losing nutrients until it’s consumed. On top of that, the fruit was bred so it can survive hundreds of miles of travel, rather than being bred for taste. Locally grown foods are usually harvested and sold within 24 hours, meaning that you’ll get the most nutrients out of it. Also, travel is cut down, so the farmers can focus on the quality and taste of the food, rather than worry about shipment. And last, since travel is kept at a minimum, there isn’t such a toll on the earth. We can’t have healthy bodies if we have an unhealthy environment.
What if some of your favorite foods don’t grow locally? It’s not necessary to dive into the local food movement with no turning back. If you can, eat locally grown foods once a day, or even once a week. Remember, fashion is like food….styles can always be mixed and matched.
Try these tips to become a locavore:
- Define your local. If you want to try 100 miles, check your radius here.
- Read the labels. Most food is labeled with a sticker or has the country of origin on the packaging.
- Do your research. What grows in your area?
- Support your farmers. Shop at your local farmers market. You’ll get a chance to meet the farmers, ask questions (“Is this organic?”), and even taste before you buy.
- Visit your farms. Ever wonder how asparagus is grown? It’s pretty interesting, and it may inspire you to start your own garden.
- Grow your own. Herbs can be a great start in your garden. Make sure to plant what’s in season for a fruitful harvest.
- Inspire your friends and fam. It’ll be much easier to eat locally if you have support. Arrange a date for a trip to the farmers market, or a special dinner night where you tackle a new recipe together.
- Join a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You pay for a share of a farmers harvest and each week you get a new assortment of fruits and vegetables. It’s like a surprise goody bag!
Check the 100 Mile Diet website for more tips on how to eat locally,
- M.I.S.S. Healthy Bites: Reasons for the Season
- M.I.S.S. Healthy Bites: You CAN Donate Healthy!
- M.I.S.S. Healthy Bites: Think Pink
- M.I.S.S. Healthy Bites: Eatin’ the Blues
- Nutrition Facts: Eat a Rainbow