Buying locally-grown food is one of the best things you can do for your family and local economy. But how do you get started?
By Megan Ciampa, Contributing Writer
We’ve all heard that buying local and supporting small businesses is one of the best things you can do for your local economy. We might even grow our vegetables or gardens, which is probably the very best way to “go local” — right in your own backyard! But for those of us on that gradual learning curve to buying local and supporting locally owned small businesses, what’s another way to go about it?
In the past few years, I’ve gradually tried to purchase foods closer and closer to home. Sometimes that is within a couple miles’ radius, sometimes it is foods grown within my state, which could span hundreds of miles. Other times, I may buy from a small business located out of state. Either way, I’m supporting a family operation and feel good about purchasing foods in this manner. (To be sure though, I also do purchase many foods at my local chain grocery stores.)
If you are trying to find local foods, whether it be produce, meat, or dairy and eggs, try these options to find what’s available in your area.
Online Resources to find Local Foods:
EatWild.com – “Your source for safe, healthy, natural and nutritious grass-fed beef, lamb, goats, bison, poultry, pork, dairy and other wild edibles.”
LocalHarvest.org – “Real food. Real Harvest. Real Community.” The site lists farms, CSAs (community supported agriculture), farmer’s markets, wholesale, grocery/co-ops, meat processors, and even restaurants in your area.
Find your local Weston A. Price Foundation chapter – Even if you are not a member or familiar with WAPF principles, contacting the leader of your local group may inform you of nearby resources for meats, dairy, produce, or other various co-ops.
PickYourOwn.org – Interested in local u-pick farms? This is a massive inventory spanning several countries and continents. It tells you when the seasons are to pick which fruit or vegetable and lists contact information for the farms.
The Resources page on your favorite blog 😉 … See Healthy Home Economist or Mommypotamus resources pages for additional examples!
If you feel all out of luck or live in an area where there is little grown locally, there are still several options where you can order food online and have it shipped to you. Amazon.com, USWellnessMeats.com, and TropicalTraditions.com all carry gourmet foods, grocery items, or food items in bulk.
Best of all: Word of Mouth
Perhaps the best way of all to find good local food? The quintessential word of mouth. Finding out from others is even easier now with social media as you can quickly list a question on your Facebook feed or on Twitter or Instagram and find out from others where they find the best resources for local food.
How do you find local food? What tips do you have to share? What has helped you the most with becoming familiar with local farmers or farmer’s markets?
[…] talking “local” at MAM this month: local farms, local learning opportunities, local businesses, local food. Perhaps you already value the […]
[…] Locally grown produce also has a huge benefit to you–it tastes better, is more nutritious, and stays fresh longer. This is because it is picked at peak harvest time, transported shorter distances, and sold directly to consumers. The less time that passes between farm and table, the better the product. […]