Thursday, January 31, 2008

Local Food Movement

Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables.
They probably get jet-lagged, just like people.
~ Elizabeth Berry

As I look at ways to get healthier, I am becoming more and more interested in the idea of eating locally. This means buying food from my local farmers market as often as I can which, in southern California, is almost every week of the year (I know - I'm very lucky!)

There are lots of large-scale benefits of eating locally: it helps the environment; it supports our local economy, etc. I like the idea of doing what I can to help in these areas. But the bottom line is this: what's in it for you and me?

The answer is: plenty!

The more locally grown foods I consume, the less processed junk I eat. And it's those cheap processed foods that make me fat and unhealthy. If, for example, I make more own salsa with fresh tomatoes, fresh onions, fresh cilantro, I have better control over the sodium, the added oils, and certainly the chemicals that I put into my body. That these ingredients are grown locally, thus avoiding damage from transporting produce, reducing the carbon footprint from shipping, etc., etc. is an added benefit.

I also love the idea of living a simpler and slower life. This is a hard one for any of us to achieve, I know! Most days, I can barely keep my head above water, with all that needs to be done and all that I want to experience. The Slow Food Movement is part of this, the reverse of eating fast food. It's about taking time to plan, to shop wisely, to prepare and eat our food in ways that sustain both our bodies and our spirits.

There is a wealth of information out there on eating locally, slow food, etc. One of my favorite magazines, Edible Ojai (which is a lovely town here in Ventura County, California) comes from a great publisher, Edible Communities. They have magazines from cities and towns all across the country. See if there's one near you.

I encourage you to research the issues regarding the local food movement. I certainly have a lot more to learn, and I need to make time to practice what I preach. It's all about investing in my health and our future.

Until next time...

P.S. A huge thank you to all those who posted get well wishes. Your care and concern meant a great deal to me. Isn't it a wonderful thing to feel well after being sick? Makes you feel like you can conquer the world!


Hanlie said...

What a lovely post! And a lovely way to live. I like it!

Chanda (aka Bea) said...

What a timely post! I was just today looking into local farms that grow organically and raise their livestock humanely. You hear such horror stories these days about industrial agriculture and our food supply - I think it's a perfect time to look to our own back yards for food. Wonderful post!

Holly said...

Yes, you truly are lucky to live where there is an abundance of fresh produce year round! It's a little tougher up here in the frozen north but still well worth the effort. When this summer comes around, I'm going to stock up and planning on freezing what I can to have for the rest of the year. Good for you on taking this step!!

Scale Junkie said...

We get a lot of fresh fruits and veggies here in Florida. This is my favorite time of the year, I can walk in my back yard and pick fresh lemons and oranges (and grapefruit if I reach over the fence hehe) My neighbor grows delish avocados and about 20 miles from here is the heart of Strawberry country, Plant City Florida....I LOVE strawberries!! I'm going to buy a few flats and freeze them for smoothies and other yumminess this spring.

Grumpy Chair said...

I am looking into joining a food co-op (I will know more next week).

I think making weekly trips to a farmers market would be a treat. Pick up fresh fruits and veggies and also maybe some fresh cut (cheap) flowers for yourself.


Selma said...

I really enjoyed your post.


Lora said...

Our local paper just ran a big story on eating locally a few weeks ago and it made a lot of sense. Unfortunately we live in upstate NY so we have a long winter season here before we can hit the farm markets. We grow a lot in our gardens and then can and freeze things. We're also incorporating a fruit cellar into our basement for cold storage so we can stock up on some things like potaotes, apples, cabbage, turnips etc. when they're in season.

But there are just some things we have to buy from afar in the winter months! My broccoli for one!