06 April 2011

Eat Locally

Barbara Kingsolver's first non-fiction book: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year Of Food Life is a great read that really made me think. It presents her disturbing research about the current state of the food industry and chronicles her family's year of eating food grown either in their own garden, in their neighborhood, or doing without it. Revolutionary concept these days and not easy, as her book describes. But she also shows it can be delicious fun. She includes favorite family recipes with most chapters. 

Turns out that eating locally is not only good for our bodies but good for our planet since it uses less fuel to get to our plate and maintains diversity. Farmer's markets are plentiful here in Italy (ours is on Wednesdays) and in most States as well. Our stalls carry the veggies and fruits picked that day by our local farmers and sold by them or their family. They sell direct, I know their name, I hug the woman who calls "Bella, Bella" as I approach. The food is fresh, I can get cooking suggestions or recipes, the food is abundant. 

Local food is different, more diverse, not just chosen for its ability to survive long distances. For example, delicate edible flowers or a tomato that looks like a little soft green pumpkin but is the yummiest, juiciest, tastiest tomato ever! The older women selling them swoon over them and get me over my American reluctance to buy tomatoes that aren't red and I buy them and then get oh, so rewarded with every caprese sandwich or salad I eat. Local food hasn't had to survive long trips from wherever during which time all its nutrients fall out. It still has its nutrients. It's food not just food cadavers. 

Do you know where your food comes from? Who has grown it? Have you been surprised or delighted by your food lately? Wouldn't you like to be?

Then, delight your senses, make your body healthier, support local farmers, save the environment and heal the planet. Eat locally grown food.

Do you have a farmers' markets in your area?


  1. Oh yes, we certainly do! Ours opened for the season this past Saturday, with little green to buy, but even in the rain it was packed! We Bellinghamsters really missed it when it closed for the season in December. I make a trip there every Saturday morning during spring, summer, and fall. Our abundance is legendary.

  2. Yes, we do. And yes, I will make certain to frequent the Farmer's Market - for all the reasons you lay out here. All one really needs to do is just be a little less lazy about it. And the benefits are fruits, veggies, eggs and meats (sometimes) that taste amazing.

  3. Wonderful post! My sentiments exactly! I'm a bit envious of your life style, trying so many new things, close to all experiences around you. The best of both worlds.

  4. I totally agree! I can't wait for our local Farmer's Market to open. I would love to live in Italy and shop for a green tomato!

  5. DJan, Nice to be known for abundance! Have you read Kingsolver's book?
    Lou, Oh yes, it's so worth it. You have to see the egg yolks- large, rounded and bright yellow!
    Rosaria, Good word- I'm close to the experiences! It's the best.
    Nancy, I just added the photo of those amazing tomatoes!

  6. Great post. Those tomatoes look soooo good!
    My daughter was just telling me about the health benefits of eating locally.
    Fresh vegetables are my favorite....I can't wait!

  7. Riverford Organic Farms delivers to my area every Thursday... I get a random Veg Box, which means a big box of assorted whatever they happen to have at the time. It makes for inventive cooking and some weird taste experiences, but it's CHEAP and mostly fabulous. Always in season! They also deliver our organic eggs, butter and milk. Local dairy! It's such a great way to get really affordable local organic food.

  8. We do have farmers' markets, but not like where you are! Do wonderful!

  9. I haven't read her book yet. I need to. I am a master gardener and one of the things we do is work at the farmer's market. I can hardly wait until they begin again.

  10. Yes, we do. I wish every farmer dedicated a piece of their land to local consumers. Organic, organic, organic . . . GMO-free!

  11. Nanny, Fresh veggies and fruits are a good start to all local eating. Enjoy.
    Nan, What a great idea. We did that in California when we lived there and expanded our food choices in the process because it's in the box. I like the local dairy idea.
    Lauren, Support them, nonetheless, and they'll get better.
    Sally, It was one of those books that disturbed me to begin with, expanded my thinking next and then delighted me. She's such a great writer and I learned so much. As a master gardner, you'll get even more out of it. Good for you for working at farmer's markets.
    Ruth, Are you in a position to request them to do this wonderful thing?

  12. We have one of the strictest Farmers Market's in the US I am told...my life has changed since moving to this small town where our focus is local local local. Most of our budget is spent within the town and stores. I changed the entire Retreat Center Kitchen on local fresh whole foods as much as I could, where there were originally so many people who said it was impossible! It's amazing how easy sustainable living is if you just take the time to learn about it...love love love! I just wish more people would catch on as it would help our world as a whole!


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