Posted by: Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian | July 30, 2011

Guest Post: The Food Evolution: Expanding Your Local Eating Habits

As a Registered Dietitian and as a self-proclaimed food connoisseur, I know good food when I see it. Local food never lets me down so I try to choose local whenever possible. Local food tastes fresh, packs more nutrients, and is better for our environment, and our community. Today, James Kim will give us some suggestions on new ways to eat local.


Plenty of folks have already started eating local. Maybe you’re one of them — you go to farmers’ markets or even grow some tomatoes in your backyard. But this can get boring. Don’t you long for some different ways to eat local? Never fear! Here’s a short list of new ways to put local food into your meal planning.

Mini-Road Trip

Go to the outskirts of your city to get a little bit of fresh air and visit a local farm. Try getting some milk from a local dairy farm. If you’re lucky enough to live in wine country, try visiting a vineyard and buying a nice bottle of wine. You can find farms in your area by using the Eat Wild website.

Another great way to get out of the city? Go to a u-pick farm. Make sure to pack for a day trip, especially if you’re going in the summer! Spending all day on the farm can be brutal (but totally worth it). Sunscreen, athletic shoes, food containers, and hats are all necessary. Try the Pick Your Own website to find a u-pick farm near you.

Food Festivals

Another great way to eat local is attending a food festival. Some common food festivals include blueberry, blackberry, cherry, corn, peach, and pear festivals. Find a food festival near you by visiting the Pick Your Own website.

Preserve

Make your local foods last through preservation. Try your hand at drying, preserving, canning, or even freezing. You could also make marinades or salad dressings with your left over farmers’ market finds. Check out these recipes for delicious jams like apple pie jam, carrot cake jam, or banana blueberry jam. You could buy a book on preserving to learn the best methods of preservation (try something like the Complete Guide to Food Preservation). If you’re more of an internet junkie, go to a website that specializes in food preservation, like the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Get creative when eating local by taking little road trips here and there, attending food festivals, and making all sorts of jellies, jams, and pickled delicacies at home. Eating local has never been so fun!

James Kim is a writer for foodonthetable.com.  Food on the Table is a company that provides online budget meal planning services.  Their goal is to help families eat better and save money.

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