Farm Notes by KayCee
Locavore was a term coined by a group of people in the San Francisco area who decided they wanted to only eat foods grown, harvested, and produced within 100 miles of where they live (www.locavore.com). The locavore idea is gaining momentum across North America as a political, environmental, and healthful act. Most food items that we Americans consume travel 1500 miles to get to us. In this time of rising oil prices, climate change, and general political instability, using all that energy to get food to us is a troubling act. You have made a decision to get your vegetables locally and seasonally, but what about the other things you eat and drink? The locavores started eat local challenges that usually last a week or a month. When you sign up for one you commit to only consuming food items that come from within 100 miles of where you are. The next eat local challenge is for the month of September. That is one delicious month; the end of summer and the beginning of fall! Being situated in New York might not be quite as advantageous as being in California, but you are within 100 miles of Long Island, Hudson Valley, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. You can easily get dairy, eggs, meat, wine, and vegetables from within this radius. I have recently discovered some local grain growers and millers at the Union Square Farmer’s Market which is a huge bonus. Try using local maple syrup instead of sugar (abolitionists tried to get the United States to only sweeten with maple syrup due to cane sugar’s deep dependency on slavery).
The folks at the 100 mile diet have put together 13 reasons to eat locally, you can check it out here:
The same people have created a program that enables you to see a map of the 100 mile radius of where you live. This can help you plan and figure out where you can look for locally grown goods. Click here to see the map:
Obviously, there are many things that are impossible to get from within 100 miles (olive oil, chocolate, coffee, black teas, etc), and no one is suggesting that you give it all up. But by being increasingly aware of where your food is coming from you can reduce your ecological footprint, help keep local farmers in business, and create a strong regional economy all the while supporting local growers and producers and connecting to the seasons.
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