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!
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…
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.