Let’s face it, many of us just can’t take the extra time to shop at farmers markets on a regular basis, but most of us understand that buying local is the right thing to do. It’s right not only because it supports our local economy, but also because buying locally grown produce is better for the environment. It’s better for the environment because less energy is used to transport the produce to market, thereby saving natural resources AND it leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
I recently came across an article about a project called “Locavore Lite 2010.” Started by Kris and Jo Young of Ventura County, the project encourages people to purchase and eat food that is grown within a radius of 100 miles of their residence.
Condensed ground rules from the Web site are below:
- Think about where your non-local food comes from
- At least 12 times this year, shop at a farmers market, or buy something from Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmer, or go pick your own fruit or veggies either from a local farm or your own garden, or someone else’s (of course, with permission)
- Eat at least three all-local-food meals this year
I’ve signed up and pledged to participate. So far, my dad has provided me with homegrown tomatoes — he has a 6-foot-tall tomato plant that remains prolific — even in January. Additionally, I’ve harvested and shared lemons and oranges from the trees in my backyard.
The greatest challenge I have this year is to REMEMBER to shop locally. To combat my forgetfulness, I’ve written a monthly reminder on my 2010 calendar.
Even if you don’t join, consider shopping and eating locally. There’s many Web sites, like greenopia.com, that can help you find environmentally conscious merchants in your area.