Eating local is one of those trendy buzzwords that might sound easier said than done. The internet is full of reasons for and against local eating. Some claim it’s better for the environment, others say it uses as much or more fuel to eat a local apple as a non-local one. Undoubtedly it’s better for local business, but some argue local eating isn’t feasible on a large-scale basis. Whatever the case, Alex and I are big local food supporters for several reasons: it builds community, the food tastes amazing, it’s taught us an incredible amount about seasonality and growing food, and it’s just plain fun. (Above, our idea for winter-y local eating: a turmeric rice bowl with sauteed market veggies.)
A lot of people we talk to want to eat local food, but aren’t sure where to start. Here are a few of the ways we started incorporating local foods into our diet:
- Start small. We started with a few products and worked up from there. Some easy ways to start: eggs, honey, and greens.
- Find balance. Unless you’re up for one of those crazy experiments like Barbara Kingsolver, it’s nearly impossible to eat 100% local. We combine a few choice ingredients from the market with other foods of our choice.
- Think outside the box. We’ve noticed more and more local products being offered at stores outside of farmer’s markets, like Whole Foods and (gulp!) even places like Walmart. Keep your eye out for local products!
- Have fun! The farmer’s market is like a big weekly party to me, so I don’t even count it as grocery shopping (which to me, seems a chore). Alex is more of an introvert, so we’ve delegated this experience to me. The relationships we’ve made with local farmers are ones we highly cherish.
We’d love to hear your thoughts — do you love to eat local? Is it even accessible in your area? Do you find it difficult? Too costly?
Speaking of local, we’ve got a fantastic A Couple Cooks Podcast for you! Our local Indy friends, and another husband and wife duo, Kelley and JD Schuyler are in the midst of producing a documentary on small-scale fishing. They’ve joined us to talk about local food, behind the scenes, and stories from Alaska. Check it out below, and make sure to check out their Kickstarter — they need your vote of confidence!
Last Man Fishing Kickstarter | Website | Instagram
Kelley and JD on set in Alaska!
During the podcast, Kelley and JD brought us this amazing salmon, caper and dill spread made with sustainably-caught salmon from Alaska. It was perfect for noshing on during the show!
For a little bit of a laugh, check out this video collaboration circa 2010 we produced with JD! This was back in our tiny galley kitchen days…
Just listened to this podcast on my post-work walk, and I’m so inspired! It was fantastic hearing another Indianapolis couple – them getting excited about the city’s food movement is getting me even more excited too! I loved the interview and they sound like an amazing couple :)
They are an amazing couple! I’m so glad you enjoyed this podcast — and so fun to meet you at the event! :)
I love eating locally produced foods. I agree that building relationships with farmers from the market is a great experience! Generally I find that buying local produce is cheaper, but other things like eggs and honey tend to be more expensive, but for good reason. They are a higher quality product.
Exactly! I like to pretend that I am buying a product and giving a small donation to supporting a local business. Put that way, I don’t mind spending the extra dollar or two to support high quality food in our city!
I love eating local! My dad is a small business owner, so from a young age I learned the importance of supporting small, “mom and pop” businesses. My favorite place in the world to buy fresh produce is our local farmstand, which brings in fresh fruit + veg from other nearby farms for more variety. Unfortunately it’s only available in the spring/summer, so I try to keep my eye out for local produce / goods at Whole Foods :)
Yes! I LOVE that bigger stores are starting to offer local products as well. Makes me excited to keep voting with my shopping dollars!
We agree on the importance of eating local. We can’t wait for the farmers markets to start up again. We are a husband and wife team from Evansville Indiana on a journey to change our lives through healthy eating and exercise. Thanks for the inspirational pod casts and great recipe’s!
Hooray for husband and wife teams! And best of luck to you in your journey! Sending lots of positive vibes. So glad you enjoy the podcast too!
Living in Chicago, produce is easy during farmers market (switching from organic), but I do need to get my honey and maple syrup near my parents in Michigan (from small farms there). It’s literally half the price. This month is Michigan maple syrup season, so I’ll be stocking up. I still can’t get local meat because it’s just too expensive. I do organic & as sustainable as possible, usually getting a small bulk amount during good sales.