Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Celebrate September: Eating (and Buying) Locally
I think it was 2008 when we first participated in the Eat Local Challenge. That first year changed the way we looked at our eating habits, and it started us on a brand new journey toward more sustainable living.
In her 2001 memoir, This Organic Life, Columbia University nutritionist Joan Dye Gussow writes that her commitment to eating locally "is probably driven by three things. The first is the taste of live food; the second is my relation to frugality; the third is my deep concern about the state of the planet."
We have to concur with her sentiments -- though probably to greater and lesser degrees. For us, the primary reason for choosing to eat locally is definitely the flavor quotient. Food grown close to home simply tastes better. There's more variety, more diversity, since local food doesn't need to be bred to survive thousands of miles of transport.
The earth is also a concern of ours -- though primarily from the perspective that it's our obligation to be good custodians of what we've been given. We have a great deal of confidence in the technology being used to develop alternative energy sources, so we're not pessimistic about the state of our world. But, it's a nice feeling to know that we're saving on energy & fuel costs, and keeping more money in our local economy, by supporting our local purveyors.
Eating locally is also, in our guesstimation, a safer option. When we get to know the farmers at our local farmer's market, we get a first-hand look into how they farm. We are able to ask them how they view the use of chemicals in agriculture, and we can talk with them about their growing philosophies. That kind of transparency doesn't exist when we buy a package of pre-washed organic spinach at the grocery store.
And now... the fun news!
This year, in celebration of our fourth annual Eat Local Challenge, we've partnered up with the West Bend Company, a local kitchenware manufacturer that is celebrating its 100th year anniversary. For the next three Wednesdays, beginning tomorrow, we'll be giving you insight into some ways we make the most of local foods & food products. We'll be giving you a first-hand look at the benefit and functionality of some awesome kitchen items made by the West Bend Company.
Best of all, we'll be hosting three very special giveaways that will allow you to try these products out for yourself!
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