Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Eating Locally: What's a Locavore?

While at the Torrance Farmers' Market on Saturday I noticed a table in the middle of the market with signs reading "Eat Local" and was greeted by some very enthusiastic UCLA students and their professor, Dr. Michael Silverman.

Very intrigued, I asked them what their booth was all about and they told me that this was part of a project that they were doing for their class about sustainable agriculture and gender, and doing a public program at the market was their idea and how they chose to fulfill their class requirement.

Basically, their goal (as is mine) is to point out that it's better to eat locally and if possible, organically. Why? Did you know that food typically travels between 1,500 to 2,400 miles from farm to plate in the United States?

Think about the effect not only on the food itself, which loses taste, freshness, and overall quality, but about the energy required to transport that food.

The Solution? Eat locally! For those of us living in California, this is much easier since we have a bounty of fresh food to choose from, and we have over 300 farmers' markets to shop at as well.

Eating locally has become an important tool in helping to promote better eating while helping the environment and has become so popular that the Oxford University Press chose Locavore as its 2007 Word of the Year.

As Oxford outlines, "a locavore is somebody who uses locally grown ingredients, taking advantage of seasonally available foodstuffs that can be bought and prepared without the need for extra preservatives. It encourages consumers to buy from farmers’ markets or even to grow or pick their own food, believing that fresh, local products are more nutritious and taste better."

Locavore was coined two years ago by four San Francisco women who proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius. Since then, other groups have adopted the same motto and the "movement" has spread.

In fact, that's one of the reasons I started this blog, to not only inspire myself to try and increase the amount of locally grown food I use, but to show others how to do the same. So, that's what I will do here, point out local sources, resources, and show how important and easy it is.

1 comment:

mehatsea said...

knock knock.
you still there?
i'm a renegade nutrition educator/chef, getting kids connected to real, local food.
based in SF, been working in south central, about to launch a non-profit and connect w/ an LA farm.
you are someone i should know!