Eat Local Challenge Invite – Join me!

eat local foodsOver the last few years I’ve been toying more and more with this idea. To eat only local foods.

Last week Todd mentioned this same idea and so the challenge was born!

I know this is rather last minute for many of you, seeing as how we’re starting our personal challenge this Wednesday, but I hope you’ll join me as we work to support our local farmers and also increase our health by eating fresher foods!

Benefits to eating locally:

1. The foods that are grown in close proximity to you are going to be the most nutritious. Instead of produce being picked before it’s ripe, and often treated with gases to control the ripening, it’s allowed to ripen in the ground or on the tree/bush/vine. Instead of being trucked across the country, losing nutrients everyday, many times you’ll be eating it the same day it was picked.

2. Locally grown food just tastes better! I’m amazed at how wonderfully delicious fresh picked peaches are – nothing like the ones I buy from the supermarket. Because they’ve been able to ripen on the tree, they’re packed with flavor! And all produce is like this as well. It just plain old tastes better when it’s ripe and fresh.

3. You eat the foods you need. I’m a big believer that locally grown and in season foods are the secret to health. Because of where we live, we all need to eat differently – my diet needs to be different than someone who lives in Arizona. The more I learn about foods and health, the more I see this connection to our seasons. The foods we need based on our sunlight exposure, activity levels, and temperatures, are all available at the times we need them most.

4. Buying locally grown and raised foods support your farmers. We vote every time we spend money, and what better way to show what types of food we want than to also help support our local farmers financially? This year especially, with drought conditions throughout the country, we need to be keeping the small family farms going!

The Rules

Because we’re all at different points in our real food journey, and some of us have more resources than others, I thought it’d be easiest to come up with a few different categories to sign up for.

Category One:

Purchase ALL local foods. This includes meat, dairy, eggs, and produce along with any other pantry staples that are available in your area. You can use previously purchased non-local foods, but from here on out source out foods from within 100 miles of your home. Pantry staples (beans, flour, spices, etc) can be purchased only if needed and essential, but buy them from a locally owned store versus a national chain if possible.

Category Two:

Purchase all local produce and at least 50% of your meat and eggs locally. Normal pantry staples can be purchased so as not to change your menu plans to drastically.

Category Three:

Purchase all local produce. Search out farmers markets and stands to purchase all of your produce locally.

Won’t you join me?

Enter your name (and blog if you have one) and what category you’ll be challenging yourself to below! You can also scroll down to grab the Eat Local buttons.

Each week I’ll post my own update as well as a linky so that you can post yours.
 

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About Donielle

Donielle is an amateur herbalist and natural momma to two littles (with another babe in heaven) after dealing with being less than fertile. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health.

Comments

  1. Sign me up!! Category #2

  2. Shortermama says:

    Category 1 – I’m a little nervous about whether I can pull it off or not, but I’m going to give it a shot.

  3. Question….most of the produce at my local farmers markets is not grown organically. Do you always make sure to buy no-spray or organic produce or do you purchase anything?

    donielle Reply:

    @Merissa @ Little House Living, Come the summer months, I purchase local first over organic. Even though I try to source organic or no-spray whenever possible. :-) I’ve found that in talking to a lot of the farmers they spray less than I’d realized, and I make sure to soak in a water/vinegar solution before eating.

    Merissa @ Little House Living Reply:

    @donielle, Ok interesting! I never really knew what to do, lol. This year hasn’t been too bad here for bugs so I’m guessing they haven’t sprayed too badly.

    donielle Reply:

    @Merissa @ Little House Living, Yea….it’s always one of those things you have to figure out based on what’s most important for yourself and your own health. I usually just try and talk to the actual growers of the food (not just the person who is helping sell at the market). Going at times when the market isn’t horribly busy helps too. :-)

  4. I’ll sign up for Cat #2, we already get a share in our local CSA, and I will occasionally buy local meats and eggs, but fall out of habit. So this is perfect! :) Thanks!

    donielle Reply:

    @Peggy, Glad you’re joining in!

  5. I’m really eager to start eating local foods, however at this moment in time I don’t know where to start! I’ve seen a farm advertising eggs for sale, so I’m happy to try out that, but where do I buy fresh fruit and veg from and know that it’s local? I know our nearest city has a farmers market once a month, but I need food more regularly than that… There’s a general market and grocers shops around… but will they sell local food or will it be more fruit flown in from Spain etc? Also, do these places generally sell organic food as that’s really important to me.

    donielle Reply:

    @Annemarie, Have you checked out http://www.localharvest.org? That’s a great place to start looking for local farms. And a lot of times, once you make that first connection, you’ll find out about more farms when you ask them where they find certain foods. :-)
    And sometimes you do have to decide whether you want older organic foods or fresh, non-organic. But, I also have seen that smaller farms spray a lot less, or not at all. You just have to ask about their practices (without drilling them….cause that perturbs them and then you get no other leads….)

    Annemarie Reply:

    @donielle,
    Hi Donielle,

    Thanks for the tips! I’ll check out that link now! Really appreciate it and good luck on your challenge!!! I will certainly try it out probs stick to category 2 for now though, but hey if I do more then all the better 😀

  6. Catagory 1 please. I raise most of my meat, dairy, eggs and produce. I am trying to find local butter and cream. My goats don’t give these without a very expensive separator. How do u go about sourcing staples? I tried to grow wheat and oats. Didn’t work but am going to try again. I did get corn to grow and dry to use as cornmeal. I’m trying to raise non gmo corn for my.animals but the weather hasn’t cooperated for the last two years. I totally agree with eating seasonally. For the first time last year we ate almost exclusively what I had dried, canned our froze. It was amazing how much better we felt. Thanks for the challenge.

  7. Shortermama says:

    Sorry guys. Looks like I’m out. Though 97.5% of our food is still going to be local (All meat, milk, eggs, cheese, and most vegetables), I’m working on some health issues with a NTP. She wants me to get in some avocados. I’ll keep everything local except lemons, limes and avocado and bananas and grapes for my son. I think that’s the best I can do while working through health issues. I still think my % is pretty good. It’s just the produce piece I have to wiggle on.

    donielle Reply:

    @Shortermama, Oh – no worries! Nobody can “fail” at trying to eat more locally. :-) I think it’s great that you’re working with a NPT! Fixing health issues trumps all forms of “diet”.

    So don’t think of it as “out”, just doing what you can with your dietary needs. You’re doing better than most!

Trackbacks

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