Posts Tagged ‘eating local’
December 1-8 is Eat, Drink Local Week here in Austin, TX. There are events all around town celebrating local food, farms and vendors. The proceeds benefit the Sustainable Food Center and Urban Roots, two amazing organizations in Austin working for a more sustainable, just food system.
We’re celebrating the week with a bunch of different activities. Come stop by on the Urban Farm Bike Tour this Saturday, on Wednesday drink some beer and meet the fellas from Hops and Grain and on Friday we’ll be screening the documentary LOCAL, followed by a Q&A with the film maker. You can find out specifics here.
As a participating business, we’re offering up our local food box. It will be available starting tomorrow, December 1st.
Looks delicious, doesn’t it?
The box is $38, or $35 if you bring your own box! Check out what you’ll get when you purchase your local food box.
- 6 eggs from Vital Farms
- Lucky Layla Golden Butter
- 1 jar of Confituras jam
- 1 lbs of Gourmet Texas Pasta
- 1 bunch of kale from Johnson’s Backyard Garden
- 1 head of lettuce from Johnson’s Backyard Garden
- 1 head of broccoli from Johnson’s Backyard Garden
- 1 bunch of carrots from Johnson’s Backyard Garden
- 4 oranges from G&S Groves
- 2 grapefruit from G&S Groves
It’s almost Thanksgiving! By now, the meal planning is probably in full-force and you’re prepping yourself for a few days of serious family time. While out shopping for your holiday dishes, challenge yourself to go local. And if you’re feeling up especially adventurous, consider shooting for a 100-mile Thanksgiving.
A 100-mile Thanksgiving means you’re aiming for all your ingredients to be sourced from within 100 miles of your dinner table. Thanksgiving is a holiday based around seasonal feasting, so it seems like a good idea to shoot for fresh, local food.
If a completely local meal seems daunting, try to source one dish locally, or get your turkey from a local farm. If you’re at a loss of where and what’s available to you, check out Local Harvest, a website where you enter in your zip code and get a map of farms and local food sources nearby.
Live in Austin? The produce available to you will range from kale to poblano peppers. You can stick with traditional dishes, such as honey roasted sweet potatoes, or think outside the box and whip up some jalapeno cranberry corn bread. Being in the height of cold-weather crop season, we’re lucky to have an abundance of produce at our fingertips. Filling your menu with local veggies will not only highlight the local food, it will also up the nutritional value of your dinner.
If you’re shooting for local and can’t find the traditional Thanksgiving foods in your region, consider shaking it up. We all live in a unique landscape with a food history all its own. Perhaps take this Thanksgiving as an opportunity to showcase the foods that symbolize where you live. Check out these unique menu ideas from five regions of the United States.
We also found this fantastic infographic that maps out localizing your Thanksgiving. There are plenty of resources out there to help you plan a local Thanksgiving. Have a fantastic holiday, and happy eating!
Shelley’s an Austin-based freelance Writer & Author, Vagabond and Dreamer. She’s currently on a year of month-long lifestyle projects, doing a different experiment every 30 Days. Follow her progress here.
I love food. I love healthy & natural. I love Austin and the cool people we have here. I love shopping for food and I really, really love cooking food. So all of these things combine to make me a perfect locavore.
As a freelance writer and author, I’ve undergone a total lifestyle experiment for 2011. I call it “30 Days at a Time” and am blogging about it at http://30days2011.wordpress.com. Every 30 days during the year of 2011, I am taking on a new project – some of the ones I have completed include meditating every day, wearing only 6 items of clothing for a month, giving or volunteering every day, and living sustainably.
My current 30-Day project is Eating Local. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover in.gredients – which I actually came across during my last project on Sustainability. As an East Austinite myself, I support this terrific concept and will donate and spread the word through my writing. I can’t wait for it to open!
I have always loved going to farmers markets, and fortunately I live in a place where being a locavore is relatively easy. Not only is eating whole foods that are locally and organically grown much healthier for us, they also just quite simply taste a whole lot better. Like living sustainably, it’s not new or trendy or hippie – it is extremely old fashioned. We have, as a society, become completely disassociated from where our food comes from, how it is produced, and what is done to it before it goes into our bodies.
Here are a few reasons why Eating Local is the way to go!
- Eating local means more for the local economy. According to a study by the New Economics Foundation in London, a dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy. When businesses are not owned locally, money leaves the community at every transaction.
- Locally grown produce is fresher. While produce that is purchased in the supermarket or a big-box store has been in transit or cold-stored for days or weeks, produce that you purchase at your local farmer’s market has often been picked within 24 hours of your purchase. This freshness not only affects the taste of your food, but the nutritional value which declines with time.
- Local food just plain tastes better. Ever tried a tomato that was picked within 24 hours? ‘Nuff said.
- Locally grown fruits and vegetables have longer to ripen. Because the produce will be handled less, locally grown fruit does not have to be “rugged” or to stand up to the rigors of shipping. This means that you are going to be getting peaches so ripe that they fall apart as you eat them, figs that would have been smashed to bits if they were sold using traditional methods, and melons that were allowed to ripen until the last possible minute on the vine.
- Eating local is better for air quality and pollution. In a March 2005 study by the journal Food Policy, it was found that the miles that organic food often travels to our plate creates environmental damage that outweighs the benefit of buying organic from farther away.
- Buying local food keeps us in touch with the seasons. By eating with the seasons, we are eating foods when they are at their peak taste, are the most abundant, and the least expensive.
- Buying locally grown food is fodder for a wonderful story. Whether it’s the farmer who brings local apples to market or the baker who makes local bread, knowing part of the story about your food is such a powerful part of enjoying a meal.
- Eating local protects us from bio-terrorism. Food with less distance to travel from farm to plate has less susceptibility to harmful contamination.
- Local food translates to more variety. When a farmer is producing food that will not travel a long distance, will have a shorter shelf life, and does not have a high-yield demand, the farmer is free to try small crops of various fruits and vegetables that would probably never make it to a large supermarket. Supermarkets are interested in selling “Name brand” fruit: Romaine Lettuce, Red Delicious Apples, Russet Potatoes. Local producers often play with their crops from year to year, trying out Little Gem Lettuce, Senshu Apples, and Chieftain Potatoes.
- Supporting local providers supports responsible land development. When you buy local, you give those with local open space – farms and pastures – an economic reason to stay open and undeveloped.