I'm Canadian, which means that for me Thanksgiving is just a week away. And as I prepare for this annual feast to celebrate the harvest and give thanks for all I have, one of the things that I like to focus on is eating local. While I'm not a hard-core locavore, I do take steps to reduce my food miles. There are a number of reasons that I try to eat local.
|One of my weekly CSA share deliveries|
Why I Eat Local
- Food that travels thousands of miles from the field to my plate has a higher carbon footprint, thanks to all the time it spends on the road.
- The closer to home that my food was grown, the fresher it is when I eat it, generally speaking. Because traveling takes time.
- By eating local, I'm supporting local farmers, which means that I'm helping to ensure regional food security.
- When I source local food, by learning how to garden, visiting farmers' markets, and participating in a CSA, I'm connecting with my local community, which just feels good.
What Will be on my Thanksgiving TableHopefully I've made a good case for eating local, but that doesn't answer the big question - where do you get this food? When I first started out, it felt a little bit overwhelming. Here's what's on my Thanksgiving table this year, and where I got it from:
- A local turkey, ordered from my organic grocery store
- Cranberry sauce, made with cranberries and honey from my farmers' market
- Cheese from my farmers' market
- Potatoes, carrots and beets from my CSA
- Seasonings like onions, herbs and garlic from my garden
- Pumpkin pie, made with a pumpkin from my CSA
- Local wine, from the liquor store (we can't buy wine at the grocery store in British Columbia)
|My daughter with our Thanksgiving pumpkin from a few years ago|
Start SmallChanging your eating habits can feel overwhelming, so I suggest starting small. I think Thanksgiving dinner is a great time to do it, because it's just one meal. Maybe trying to create a completely local meal is too much - but you can always commit to even one or two dishes. Stop by your local farmers' market, if you have one. Check out a farm-gate store. Read labels at your grocery store, to see where the produce comes from. Or think ahead to next Thanksgiving and plant a garden. I like to believe that even small changes, over time, can make a big difference. So try eating a few local food items, and see where it takes you!
What's your favourite local food item - and where do you get it from?