October 23, 2008 So I'm finally getting around to talking about a very interesting movement...the Eat Local Challenge (editor Jennifer Maiser was cool enough to mention Localette among the other participating blogs in her most recent post!) "Spanning the United States, the group is committed to challenging themselves to eat mainly local food during a specific period of time during the year", and I have to say that we out here on the Central Coast have the perfect opportunity to join in.
Anyone can participate in their own way...for some it's trying absolute 100% perfection in eating locally...for others (yup, me) it's little ways that they join in. Personally, I've always loved getting produce from Farmers Markets or the Avila Barn (great tomatoes for 85 cents a pound!). It's not really the "philosophy" of the Challenge that motivates me...it's selfish reasons. Examples? Okay, well everything tastes so much better, is SO much cheaper, and to be honest, grocery store produce pretty much grosses me out (it's been transported so much on dirty highways and touched by so many hands). Proof? Here ya go:
and it gets supplemented by our lil' garden...
It doesn't seem like much while you're doing it, but looking back it has really added up. Like most people in this country, we've really been focusing on tightening up our budget. With adding more veggies and fruit to our meals and making sure I use our pantry stock, we've cut our food spending drastically.
The challenge is fun for me...I like being more self-suficient in my own way. It's a trend that can be seen growing in most places you look. Having grandparents and great-grandparents that had their own ranch/farmland from over 70 years ago, I can see how farming and ranching changed to become this industrialized mega-business. We've all seen the problems that have risen from the mass production of our food (animal disease and mistreatment, the need to use antibiotics and other meds that we and our children then ingest, and even salmonella outbreaks from veggies).
Whoa! Look, I'm no hippie...no vegan/animal rights activist...and I fully admit that I need to shop at Wal Mart a few times a month. But who wouldn't want to become less and less dependent on that Saturday trip to your crowded local Wal-Mart?
Here's some more great reasons to eat more locally!