The Foodie’s Guide to Local Eats

by Kristen Carlucci on July 11, 2011

in General

Eating local reduces your food’s carbon footprint and brings fresher food to your plate. What more could you ask for? Okay, okay, so you won’t be able to constitute an entire balanced diet with only local food, but there are some easy ways to put some local eats into your meal planning. Try these tips to get local today.

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Go to a Farmers’ Market First

Before you start planning your meals, go to the farmers’ market first to see what they’ve got. Plan your meals for the week around what’s at the market. After you have your “base” ingredients, supplement with organic food at the grocery store. Usually, farmers’ markets are only open on the weekends, so plan your weekday meals around your Sunday farmers’ market finds. Find a farmers’ market near you on the USDA website. To find organic grocers, try the Organic Store Locator.

 

Find Local Food Restaurants

Do a little research and find some local food restaurants in your area. Ask farmers at farmers’ markets which chefs they sell to or check search engines like the Eat Well search to find some local food restaurants in your area. Try shopping at local bakeries, wineries, distilleries, coffee shops or ice cream shops to get local eats on the run.

 

Join a CSA

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) gives you an opportunity to get farm-fresh food delivered straight to your home weekly for a seasonal price. Find CSA farmers on the Local Harvest website. This website also provides viable information on how to choose the right CSA program/farmer for your needs.

 

Preserve Local Food for the Winter

There are plenty of ways to preserve your local food. You can make a jelly or jam or even pickle some vegetables. You could also try making a freezer-friendly dish out of your local food (try a vegetable-packed lasagna, for example). To learn how to pickle or make jelly, go to the National Center for Food Preservation website. You can also try buying and reading a book on preserving, like Angela Duea’s Complete Guide to Food Preservation.

So there you go, just a few easy and simple ways to go local. Once you start implementing these tips into your daily routine, you’ll surely never go back.

James Kim is a writer for foodonthetable.com.  Food on the Table is a company that provides online budget meal planning services.  Their goal is to help families eat better and save money.

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Thank you James for an amazing guest post!  I’m always interested in learning about eating local, and I definitely plan to use some of these tips.

How about you?  Do you focus on eating local? Is it important to you when choosing certain foods like meat or dairy?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica August 25, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Great guest post, James! Eating local is not only good the environment, it’s often tastier, too! I love planning our meals around our weekly CSA haul – it forces me to be creative!

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Alyse @ Fit Approach August 25, 2013 at 5:31 pm

These are great tips for eating healthy, local food! We always start at the farmers’ market, too, and then head to Whole Foods to round out our grocery list. We’ve started only eating grass-fed beef and pastured chickens and have noticed a big change in the way we feel after eating meat. It’s amazing how much those things affect your body!

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