We all know that we should be eating local, yet it often falls to the bottom of the list—especially when we’re busy and on a budget. But there’s more than meets the eye with local food: It’s more nutrient-dense, flavorful, and tastes better, not to mention you’ll be supporting your local farmers who pride themselves in the quality of their product. It’s easier to get into local food than you might think. Just follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to supporting your local food scene.
First, go to a farmer’s market. This is one of the easiest ways to get a feel for what’s happening in your area, and it’s a good way to see how local food contrasts with what you see in the supermarket. Second, cook seasonally. When you choose to cook with seasonal veggies and fruits, chances are you’ll be buying local, because that’s what’s in season in your area. It’s as simple as that. For the more committed local foodies, volunteering at local food organizations in your area is a great way to understand where your food is coming from and to get access to local food regularly.
The next thing you can do is get to know a farm. Sites like LocalHarvest let you punch in your zip code and see which farms are near you. By getting closer to the source of your food, you may find even more delight in buying and cooking it. Lastly, just get curious and get out. The only way to get a better sense of your local food scene is to simply ask and engage with the people behind the food. Ask where the food comes from, how far it’s traveled, how it’s grown, etc. By asking questions, you can become a more informed consumer and make choices about what you will and won’t compromise on when it comes to your food.