I love visiting another Syracuse blog, Cookin’ in the ‘Cuse. Just working my way through her links, not to mention her articles, makes me feel extra good about … well, food, and doing positive things. The link I followed today, Eat Local Challenge, brought me to something that’s becoming increasingly, incrementally important in my life: eating locally produced food. Here are ten reasons to eat local food. Once you’ve read them, you might consider starting to make those small changes that eventually make a real difference in the way you eat, in the Syracuse economy, and in the amount of energy spent to get your food to you. The day of the 3000-mile salad is coming to a close.
Nobody says you have to suddenly stop eating everything you’re used to and start eating what’s left over from last fall (ugh! a turnip? an old cabbage?). Rather, begin to make choices based on the following:
If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.
It’s not that hard to find locally-produced eggs, cheese, meats and wines all year round. A great way to start. The Real Food Store has great big, colorful labels throughout the store indicating which products are locally made. We need to let our nearby supermarkets know that we support any effort on their part to help us find local products quickly and easily.
Another way to eat local, really local, is to grow your own vegetables. Last fall, I put together a small raised bed for this year’s veggies. I haven’t had a vegetable garden for over twenty years! We’ll see how it goes. It will at least pay for itself, and it’s bound to taste better than anything that has to travel in a vehicle to get to my kitchen. One day I’ll get really serious about eating all local food. For now, I’m just going to keep nosing around and trying to change out one item at a time as I learn just what the region produces.