SHOP LOCAL! YOU WILL BE DOING SOMETHING GOOD FOR YOURSELF, YOUR ECONOMY AND YOUR PLANET!
Ever heard of the little quote, “Think Global, Shop Local”? Well, if you are interested in benefiting your family’s health, local economy and the planet’s environment, I can’t think of many things better than shopping local.
Yes, you can be planet and palette conscious at the same time.
Shopping for local foods that are sustainable, beyond organic, organic and natural will reap numerous rewards. Think about it. Making better choices on your food intake will instantaneously benefit your health and that of the local economy, but it will also make a dent in the damage we are doing to our planet by consuming highly traveled foods. Those foods that come from two hemispheres away don’t just get there by magic so they take a huge toll on our daily carbon imprintand they are NOT fresh!
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“My work has also motivated me to put a lot of time into seeking out good food and to spend more money on it.”-Michael Pollan
Take a look at the following national sites to better aid you in finding food of the highest quality in your area, so you have no excuse to do anything but, shop local:
EAT WELL GUIDE
The first site can be found at eatwellguide.org,
which just may be the easiest and most comprehensive way for you to find wholesome, fresh, sustainable food.
If you are interested in finding food in your area or even when you travel that is healthful, humane, better for the environment, and supports family farmers you will want to check this site out. There is an easy to navigate search engine that will enable you to find farms, stores, other outlets and even restaurants in the United States and Canada. Shopping local has never been so easy... and fun! To shop local, you have many different options and I would explore all of them.
The next website I might recommend is localharvest.org. This is a site that will not only help you find organic produce but will also explain the difference between certified organic, naturally grown, biodynamic, certified naturally grown, transitional, conventional, and grass-fed or pastured foods. Interested in grocery stores as well as Co-ops and Farmers Markets. This site also introduces the new shop local movement of Community Supported Agriculture or CSA. "Community Supported Agriculture is a way for the food buying public to create a relationship with a farm and to receive a weekly basket of produce. By making a financial commitment to a farm, people become "members" (or "shareholders," or "subscribers") of the CSA. Most CSA farmers prefer that members pay for the season up-front, but some farmers will accept weekly or monthly payments. Some CSA’s also require that members work a small number of hours on the farm during the growing season. Many farms offer produce subscriptions, where buyers receive a weekly or monthly basket of produce, flowers, fruits, eggs, milk, coffee, or any sort of different farm products." (localharvest.org/csa/)
If you are interested in consuming grass-fed animals and reaping the benefits because of it, check the site www.eatwild.com out! Why grass-fed over grain-fed? 1. Lower in Fat 2. Lower in Calories 3. Higher in Omega-3 Fatty Acids 4. Increased Conjugated Linoleic Acids 5. and Higher Amounts of Vitamin E. In the end, it can really pay-off to consume healthier, happier and more nutrient dense animals. Shopping locally will also give you an excellent opportunity to meet the farmers of your food. This is a very good idea I might add.
Interested in raw dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese and ice cream? Check out what they have available for you over at www.realmilk.com. I don’t consume conventional milk, if you consumed a high quality raw milk, from a healthy goat or grass-fed cow, you wouldn’t either. My wife and I have visited a number of the farms found right on this site, and have been happy will all of them.
This is a site that recommends seafood by letting you know if the seafood is a: Buy or Avoid. The seafood ratings are broken down into: Best Choices, Good Alternatives and Avoid. There is a phenomenal pocket guide that you can print out which contains all of this information in detail, and it is perfect to take while shopping. They also have a Super Green List that lets you know what fish are healthy for humans and the oceans. This site has an excellent search engine, as well as links for resources around the country and world. Also, if you are interested in restaurants that are committed to protecting the health of the oceans, they have a link for that as well.
Generally speaking, the people you find at these farms, farmers markets, CSA’s, smaller outlets or even restaurants love what they do and take real pride in their work.
I believe you will find it is a real breath of fresh air when all of the food you purchase and consume is grown and raised locally.
This list of sites should put you on the right track to find the best foods available in your area.
Shop Local and Bon Appetit!
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