Eating Like a Localvore

Yes, I said "localvore". Don't be surprised if you've not heard the term before, it's a fairly new concept born out of the current trend of environmental friendliness. A greener way of eating.

Even if the word sounds odd, I'm sure you can figure out what it means. A localvore is someone who makes a conscious decision to only eat foods produced locally (usually within a 100 mile radius of where you live). This type of eating habit is also sometimes called the 100-mile diet.

There are several reasons behind the localvore movement, most being environmental or economic.

Support your local food industry. Producing food is hard work and it's not an easy business to be in, especially if you are a small farmer. So keep your money in your community and support the people who work to produce your food.

Create less pollution. This is my personal reason for trying to eat locally. Transporting a load of produce from a South American or European country to Canada or the USA will produce far more carbon dioxide and other toxic emissions than produce transported from 4 miles down the road. I mean really, the amount of pollution created so that we can eat fruit that is out of season is ridiculous and unnecessary.

Less chemicals in the food. Imagine how long it takes to get a bag of fruit from Venezuela to New York. Even when the fruits or vegetables are picked before turning ripe, they need preservatives in order to survive the travel and still be edible. Eating locally means you can eat food that is fresher and that has fewer chemicals.

Better variety. Farmers who don't have to worry about shelf life or transport sturdiness can experiment with all kinds of fruit and vegetable varieties. You'll find all kinds of new tastes if you take the time to browse your local farmer's market instead of relying on the same old stuff at the major supermarket.

Some people choose to become a localvore on their own, but more and more communities are forming groups to help people connect with each other and to improve their own local food resources.

Hopefully after reading this, you might think twice next time you are shopping. If you have the choice between tomatoes grown nearby or 3,000 miles away, make the local choice.