I wrote about using your local farmer’s market as a good source of healthy, local ingredients in this post. I talked about an essay Barbara Kingsolver published in her book Small Wonders a few years ago stating that if we would spend just 20.00 a month on locally produced foods we would change the face of agricultural commerce. There are many reasons why this would happen, and I’m sure we can all list many of them such as: supporting local farmers and sustainable local crops, reducing the engergy expenses associated with transporting foodstuffs (especially now with the price of gas doubled from what it was when she originally wrote that essay), decreasing the use of pesticides (most smaller local farms are organic in practice even if not certifed as such), decreasing the spread of illness such as e. coli, and just plain eating healthier (less corn syrup, more leafy greens).
Barbara Kingsolver and her family decided to take the experiment a step further, and move to their Appalachian farm year-round and try to live off their own crops and other locally produced goods. Their own veggies, their own eggs, and their own free-range meats. The book is a look at the year they spent in this experiment, and is interspersed with essays by Barbara’s husband and oldest daughter.
There is also a good deal of information about how the rest of us can incorporate some of these ideas into our own lives without moving out to our own farms. Such as utilizing farmer’s markets (see the link above for more info about your local farmer’s market), joining a co-op, and using the services of community supported agriculture. Canning and freezing the fresh stuff when it is in season to use later in the year, growing a few veggies of our own, even some pots of tomatoes, or our own sprouts.
Eating healthy is much easier when you are eating locally produced foods. They foods also taste better and I have found them to be actually cheaper than the produce at the grocery store when you purchase items at the height of their season.
For more information about the Animal Vegetable Miracle project, click here.
To buy the book, go here.