Thursday, January 24, 2008

What's a locavore?

Husband, Mr. Word Person and crossword puzzle addict, was listening to a show on NPR about new words coined in 2007. We laughed at "w00t" and talked about a few others, and he mentioned "locavore." He thought I'd like the word.
I do like the word and the concept. It makes me think, and that's a good thing in today's world. A locavore, according to Oxford, follows "...a trend in using locally grown ingredients, taking advantage of seasonally available foodstuffs that can be bought and prepared without the need for extra preservatives." If you're worried about your carbon footprint, eating local also minimizes the need for transportation that ships the food over miles and miles of roads or rails, spewing carbon monoxide into the atmosphere.
That sounds rather radical, and my inflammatory choice of words makes it more so. I like the philosophy of eating local. The reality is harder. If I choose to increase consuming locally, it'll be tough in the winter. Summer, it'll be easy.
Here are a few steps we're already taking along the locavore route. We shop at a farmers' market, I have a decent vegetable garden, we can buy local produce easily. I freeze what I can; there is plenty of diced rhubarb and little grated zucchini in my (now functional) freezer.
Meat and bread are harder. When we buy from local bakers, is that enough? Or do we need to be sure they're getting their raw materials locally? When I bake my own bread (in my lovely bread machine), do my raw materials need to be locally milled as well?
And what about produce that doesn't grow locally, but has nutritional value? I'm thinking of the cases of oranges and grapefruit that I buy from the local music department's fundraiser every year. This becomes a staple of my winter diet, and I hope the extra vitamin C helps keep the all-too-common colds away.
As with all green philosophies, I'll use this one when I can. I'm sure I won't be a perfect locavore, but I'll work it into my family's life little by little. We'll make an impact. We'll think globally and act, or at least eat, locally when it's possible.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Flea said...

Yay for the working freezer!

We've taken to gardening now that we've moved to Tulsa. Believe it or not, I could never keep a vegetable garden in Florida, between the sand, the nematodes, the heat and the bugs. Thanks for the food for thought. :)

1/24/2008 8:35 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I hear your pain. Oddly, squash has the nutritional benefits of TWO servings of other veg. And it keeps well into the winter months after its late fall harvest. God does look out for us northerners, you know. And in my house we buy a local cow and have it butchered locally--it's a LOT cheaper than buying meat by the cut although you have to pay out upfront for a year's worth of meat. A lot of butchers will let you do a half or quarter cow. And beans. They're good, too;)

1/25/2008 8:43 AM  
Blogger Flea said...

Daisy, did you pick up your award yet? Hop over to my blog to get it. :)

1/25/2008 3:53 PM  
Blogger Club 166 said...

I think doing the lovacore thing is great. But I also think that supplementing our diet with great foods from farther away is good, too.

Joe

1/25/2008 10:29 PM  
Blogger ChristianBl said...

Hi there!
I'm also doing my best to shop locally, without sacrificing too many felt needs - even though some of these nees may be artificial and disappear once they are not fulfilled for a while.

On another subject, I am sure we can influence our CO2 footprint much more by our heating customs. It may sound extreme at first: we didn't heat at all, with outside temperatures well into the snow range. But it wasn't hard at all and saved a lot of money. Obviously, you have to change your dressing habbits along with the heating. May I be called coldavore?

3/19/2009 4:41 AM  

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