*I’m still in Denver and enjoying every minute of it. We have eaten well and tasted what Denver is known for – their excellent craft beer selection. Four breweries down, many more to go! I’ll check in again when I get to Durango but for now, enjoy this guest post from my friend Mary, who writes an incredibly informative blog about eating a locally-sourced diet. She even runs a farmers’ market in Nashville! Visit her blog, The Locavore Mama, and enjoy this post!*
There’s no denying that when it comes to food, our country’s default is convenient and cheap. Consequently, there is an epidemic of obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Eating locally is one of the best ways to combat this as local produce is nutrient dense and extremely fresh. But how do you switch from processed supermarket food to fresh local food?
Ignore Propaganda: Avoid foods you see advertised on television, the web, or in a magazine. Food marketers are ingenious at turning their highly processed products into exciting, convenient and healthy food choices. But don’t fall for their trap; be a conscious consumer.
Shop at Your Local Farmers’ Market: There is no better place than a farmers’ market to access local food. Farmers often pick their produce the morning of the market, so you can be sure it is the freshest product you can get. Plus, it tastes delicious! Start easy with local fruit and work your way up to a full fridge of local produce.
Start Small and Switch: Eating locally is all about baby steps. Take the time to gradually introduce local items into your diet. Switch out your milk and eggs to local and eventually work in local veggies.
Eat at Locally Owned Restaurants: American’s love to eat out (myself included). Instead of hitting up chain restaurants, seek out locally owned restaurants. Go a step further to support restaurants that offer a seasonal local menu.
Education: Watch food documentaries and read books. The best way to begin eating locally is to arm yourself with knowledge. I have a great list of the Top 10 Food Documentaries and Books for Change on my blog that you will help give you the motivation you need to make real change.
Extra: Visit a local farm and see where your food is grown and connect with your farmers.
The transition begins with a conversation about where your food is coming from. With each bite of food, ask yourself “How did this get to my table? Do I know who raised or grew this?” Eating locally is a lifestyle, and with any lifestyle change it takes time to integrate this way of thinking and living. Soon enough, it will become your default and your body will thank you. Until then, keep at it and remember, you have 3 chances a day to make the decision to eat local.
Share your favorite tip for eating local, especially for beginners!
Thanks, Locavore Mama!