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Light Shades of {Green} - Month 2: Eat Locally and In-Season

March 17, 2011

It's well publicized that the globalization of our food supply has a negative impact on our environment, our communities and our health.  Examples of these negative impacts include the green house gas emissions from the fuel used to ship food to our stores, which harms our environment.  The loss of the family farm is an example of how our communities are negatively impacted and our health is impacted with globalized food because the simple truth is the fresher the food and the less our food is handled the less chance there is of harmful contamination.

Why eat in-season?  Because if you're going to get the most of your locally grown food you'll need to learn to eat in season.  The reality is it's very hard to purchase all of your food locally, however, there are most likely more foods and products available that are locally made then you realize. 

What's considered local?  Generally speaking, "local" is seen as that food found within a 100-mile radius of where you live.

What are some simple {because we are trying for light shades of green} changes I can make?
  • Make a list of a few items you can start to purchase locally grown, harvested, and/or produced.  For instance, I can find honey, peanut butter, homemade jams, meat, milk products, veggies, and coffee quite easily within a 100-mile radius of my home.  I have to search a little harder for things like grains.
  • Shop at your local farmer's market if you have one.  This is a great source to find local grown but also produced.
  • Plant fruits, veggies and herbs.  Even if you are spacially challenged and/or time challenged, you've got the room and time for a few herbs, some tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini.
  • Learn to preserve your harvest.  Whether you grow your own fruits and veggies or purchase them locally, learn how to can, freeze or dehydrate some to be eaten during the off-season.
  • Find out if any local restaurants or grocery stores purchase local products.  If so, try to frequent those businesses and let them know you are there supporting the local products.

So you've decided to take the plunge with a few items and commit to purchasing them locally.  What other types of changes can you make?  According to, their eating well guidelines are to choose foods that are:
  • if not locally produced, then organic
  • if not organic, then family farm
  • if not family farm, then local business
  • if not local business, then "terrior" foods (foods famous for the region they are grown or produced in)

Make the changes that are comfortable and financially feasible for you.  Any small step you take can make a positive impact on the environment.

To read the first post in the "Light Shades of {Green} series click HERE.

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