The Time to Eat Local is Now

April 22, 2010 at 9:16 am

Rob Gardner

We’ve said this before, but at Local Beet World HQ, every day is Earth Day.  We believe in eating local for all sorts of reasons, not the least, it tastes better to eat local.  Eat local also impacts the earth in plenty of positive ways.  Moreover, as Michael Pollin is quick to say, there is probably no greater way to impact the earth than through our food choices.   

Five Ways Eating Local is Green:

  1. All the studies and percentages fail to convince us that Food Miles matter; if not every time, on every item of food, then most of the time.  Reduce the distance it takes your for your food to arrive.  The less your food travels, the less fuel used and the less greenhouse gases emitted.
  2. Local food has Less Packaging, meaning less solid waste.  And do your part, bringing your own bags to the farmer’s markets.
  3. You pay the real costs for local meat, practically forcing you to Eat Less Meat.  Listen, we love a big juicy steak, aint tired of bacon and revel at the rush of good, new hamburger places, but we do believe that meat should be a luxury eaten less often.  Reducing meat consumption may help the world more than reducing food miles.  You do not have to eat local to eat less meat, but when meat is a luxury it should be local.  (Local meat is also produced in more humane ways,)
  4. For a host of reasons, local farmers tend to use Environmentally Friendly and Sustainable Farming Practices.  If you know your farmers, they are accountable to you.  More, when in doubt, go visit the farm.  What about the fact that many local farms are not Organic with a big O.  That is and is not an issue.  On one hand, we can cite instance after instance where large scale farms compiled with the regulations but did not produce good results.  What about all the large scale penned in dairy farms that skated by on lax rules (now being changed).   On the other hand, there are local farms that can do better, for instance trying to spray less; that is change to organic pest control methods.  If you create the demand, however, the local farmers will comply.  All in all, we believe that the farmers we think of as “local”, those at the farmer’s markets, use good agriculture practices that make a real difference.  Support them.
  5. Eating local Fosters Community and Builds Local Economies.  Local eaters know how their decisions affect those around them, including how those around them are treating the earth.  They also know their decisions provide local jobs, preserve existing infrastructures and retard the decay facing our rural areas.  It matters to keep farmland green, and this will happen when there are jobs for farmers.

The time to Eat Local is now.

The Local Family has been doing it for a long time, even as it has often been a struggle.

Keighty helps you find make a local cheese board.

Tom finds yet another way to drink well locally, and Wendy has made the Case for Local Wine.

By this Earth Day, Vera’s got a lot done on her farm.  She has green garlic, sorrel, mint and baby fennel for sale already.

Brad wants you to go out and grow your own food already, and provides some quick tips on making it happen.