Saturday, October 9, 2010

Why be a locavore?

I realized after my first two posts that I hadn't really explained the idea of being a "locavore."  Well, a locavore is someone that is dedicated to eating foods that are locally produced.  As a result of eating locally, you end up eating food in its proper season as well.  Some people take the locavore mentality as serious as religion, which is fine, but doesn't work for me.  I'm a lazy locavore: a person who works and goes to school and has too much on her plate, but who still cares about nutrition, taste, and self-sustaining food.  You see, the grocery store varieties of vegetables have been genetically engineered so that they kill bugs, but also so that they can not reproduce.  In addition, their nutritional content has been sacrificed for the benefit of a perfect appearance and longer shelf life.  Don't even get me started on flavor.  I mentioned that Farmer Tom's sweet potatoes smell like cinnamon, but believe you me, the spuds from the store do not smell that way.  Local farmers are more likely to use heirlooms because they reproduce and have great flavor.  Oh, and they have great nutritional value. 
   So why am I freezing all this stuff when I could buy packaged stuff at the store?  Because food that is stored only two or three days after it is picked is going to have a much higher nutritional value than something that has been shipped across the country, packaged, and then shipped back across the country.  Not to mention, our tax dollars are paying for all the packaged food that gives us no nutritional value.  If you buy your food fresh and process it yourself, it will take more time, but it will give you more enjoyment and more nutritional value out of your food.  Oh, and it will give your children a longer, healthier life. 
  I'm busy just like you, so I can't be a total locavore.  But, I can make small steps in the right direction that will make huge differences in my life, as well as my family's lives, and possibly Farmer Tom's life too.  I grew up in a house with little more in the packaged goods department than Saltines and Grape Nuts.  You can do it too.  You might even find a new hobby while you're doing it! 

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