Thursday, June 21, 2007

Becoming a Locavore

Well, I'm doing my best to become a "locavore"; that is, I'm making an effort to eat only foods grown or harvested within a 100 mile radius of where I live. That means eating seasonally or canning for off-season, not indulging in some foods that Michigan/Indiana/Illinois soil does not provide (such as peanuts, olives and more), but mostly, it means enjoying every bit of food that goes in my mouth. Why is it so much more enjoyable? Here's the short list:
  • Good for the Earth: my food is not "made of fossil fuels", as in, they do not travel far to get to my plate. Also, because it does not have to travel as far, the farmers I get food from are using natural and/or organic processes: veggies from the CSA I joined are harvested the day I pick them up (or I harvest them myself) and the meat I eat is either picked up fresh the day it is processed, or frozen fresh for later.
  • Good for Me: I have had seasonal allergies for a long time. Eating food grown in our local foodshed means I'm essentially "self-immunizing" by putting some of the local pollens and allergens directly into my body - honey is especially good (perhaps Heather can shed more light on this aspect!).

    Also, I was one of those kids raised on processed foods, then college cafeteria food (yuck!). My mother thought corn and potatoes were vegetables and that meatloaf was a staple. Organic...what?!? We did grow our own tomatoes in the summer and boy were they good! I could eat them like apples. Anyway, I digress. What I mean to say is this is also an attempt at becoming healthier and retrain my body to LOVE food that will nourish it and keep it in balance.
  • Good for You: By supporting local farmers and growers, my [limited] funds are supporting the local economy, keeping jobs in MI and thereby making our community stronger (we don't want more people leaving Michigan because "the economy is bad" - how many times do you hear that a day!)

So, I want to say "if I can do it, anybody can" because I was certainly not geared for this my whole life, but am excited by the challenge that it presents in my daily life. Looking through recipe books is now more fun than ever! So, I challenge you all to join me in becoming a locavore. Peace, Mandy Creighton

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