Have the superstores you shop at seem emptier these days? It may be due to the growing buzz surrounding the locavore movement, and you don’t have to be a mover and a shaker to join in. The movement supports domestic farmers and businesses in your community by encouraging regular people to shop locally. Keeping it local also has a positive effect on the environment, as produce and merchandise travel a smaller distance — by at least 1,500 fewer miles! — before landing in your shopping cart.
If you’re eager to adopt some principles of the locavore movement this spring, here are some tips to get you started:
Purchasing your produce at a local farmers market not only benefits the farmers but also guarantees fresh fruits and vegetables picked at the peak of the growing season. This means baskets full of great-tasting produce grown miles from your home, rather than being shipped thousands of miles from across the country — or world. Find a farmers market near you, and enjoy the endless variety of options from crisp apples to celery roots and gooseberries.
If you’re interested in branching out from produce, look around your house and find five products that could be purchased locally. Shop your local craft fairs, support local artists and visit local shops to find jewelry, body scrubs, candles, honey, artwork, floor rugs or other kinds of accoutrements. It will support the businesses in your area, and could also mean better craftsmanship and a better price.
Eating locally tastes better. Why? Food wasn’t shipped thousands of miles before landing on your plate, and it was probably picked within 24 hours of your purchase. Furthermore, when restaurants buy locally, there’s a good chance they know where the food came from and who grows it, reducing your chances of contamination. Smartphone apps like GoPure can be used to find restaurants that serve local food from your area.
CSAs, or community supported agriculture, are much like a farmers market, and are a great way to find local and seasonal food directly from the farmer. Members receive a “share” of the harvest each week, and get a box full of fresh produce throughout the season. You can sign up and learn more about the local CSAs in your neighborhood online.
Want to know more about eco-friendly eating? Try these 10 easy ways to eat more sustainably.