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I’m so excited for those of you who have signed up for the Eat Local Challenge here. If you haven’t signed up, just email me at email@example.com, or comment below. It starts Sunday and runs for a week (September 8-14).
The goal is to choose 10 meals or all your meals/snacks during the week to eat like a locavore – eating within a 100 mile radius. I’m getting ready by writing up a tentative meal plan for the week and a list of veggies and goodies to get at the farmer’s market or co-op this weekend.
If you choose to eat all local, or 10 meals local, you can be entered into a random giveaway to win this Vermont Farm Table Cookbook by Tracey Medeiros. There’s tons of unique and delicious-looking recipes in here & her other cookbook – Dishing Up Vermont. [Disclosure: I received this book free of cost.]
I’m all set for local meat, though. I’m at home for a few days, and I just helped my dad unload 10 pastured chickens we picked up from my uncle. He also snagged a few packs of venison from last year. I also picked up eggs from my neighbor’s chickens. Even got to meet those clucking ladies. Pretty soon, my parents will have a half a grass-fed cow in our freezer basement. I took on the role of the nice daughter and volunteered to take some of that off their hands.
My Top 4 Reasons to Eat Local
- Fresh and tasty! Local food doesn’t have to travel across the country to reach you, so you’ll eat food picked at its peak. It will be crisp, fresh, and just plain delicious.
- Nutrient-dense. When produce is exposed to light, time, and other elements, water-soluble vitamins are depleted. Instead, eating a bunch of kale just picked yesterday will be packed full of the all the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that your body loves.
- Community & relationships. When I buy a bag of spinach at the store, there isn’t a phone number with the farmer’s name on the bag. At a farmer’s market, I can talk directly to farmers and ask about how they grow their food and just talk food with them. They’re proud of their beautiful veggies & pastured meats, and you betcha they love to get to know their customers.
- Diversity & environment. When farmers grow heirloom varieties, they produce gorgeous veggies (purple carrots, anyone?) and support crop diversity. You also don’t have to worry about all the waste and resources involved in shipping your food in from all over the world.
- Eat local. Eat at least 10 meals local (about half your meals), or go all out (or somewhere in between)! Aim for a 100 mile radius around you. Choose 3 staples to use in cooking – like olive oil, salt, and pepper, to add a little extra flavor (although local food is already flavor-packed).
- Take pictures of 2 of your favorite meals, and email them to me. I’d love to share what you all came up with. Feel free to send in pictures of farmer’s markets, garden, or CSA shots as well.
- If you have a blog, feel free to share your pictures and thoughts on eating local.
- Share your progress on social media with posts, tweets, or Instagrams. Use the hashtag #eatlocalweek.
- Tell others what you’re doing. Share the Eat Local fun with others. Make a meal for your friends or family, plan a date to the farmer’s market for lunch, or have a friend date cooking or canning your favorite local finds.
Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing my favorite recipes and resources to get you prepared for the week!
Sign up below, and tell me what your favorite local foods are.