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March 13, 2011

The challenge: Commit to 5 local foods a day

There are many benefits to eating local foods- it is not only good for you personally, it is also good for the community and the environment. Why buy apples from thousands of miles away when you can pick them off a tree in your own region. I have committed to eating AT LEAST 5 local foods a day- which adds up to at least 25% of my total food budget. On most days this is more than double. A good place to start is making a commitment to purchase weekly products from the local open market/farmer's market. Look for fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy, honey, olive oils, flowers and other goodies that are in season and local. I love berries so I buy a large amount of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in the summer and either freeze them whole or make jam. Very easy and good for you. (A jam recipe is available on the blog.)

Another action you can take is to grow your own herbs or fruits/veggies in either your kitchen, balcony or garden (if you are lucky enough to have your own soil-use it!!) It is the time of year to plant my seeds, so upon returning to Athens I will be growing parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, leeks, and peppers on my balcony and in our very own kitchen. I will be sure to share this process with you step-by-step, so stay tuned for more on agriculture.

Lastly, do some research and find local farms in your area. Some allow you to pick your own fruit and vegetables which can be a fun weekend activity. Also, with little research you can find restaurants in your area that support local farmers. Your purchases will show businesses that you are behind them in supporting the farmers in your own community.

As for now, here are some ideas to get you started TODAY as you commit to eating local foods with me (local foods normally available are in bold):

Breakfast- An omelet made from organic eggs, with vegetables and olive oil or a Fruit salad with in-season fruits and yogurt
Lunch- Locally baked bread with homemade almond butter and homemade jelly
Snack- hummus or fava dip with vegetable slices
Dinner- Salmon with citrus sauce and local greens or pasta with homemade tomato sauce and herbs
Dessert- In season-fruit topped with local honey or ice cream topped with homemade honey-glazed nuts

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