First of all, what is a locavore? Or, the correct question should actually be: who is a locavore?
Being a locavore is not just about what one eats, it is also about how one lives.
What does it mean to be a locavore, and why should we all become one?
In this article we will discuss the benefits of being a locavore and how to make the transition into becoming one.
We will also cover some of the challenges that come with being a locavore, so that you can plan for them accordingly!
What Does Locavore Mean When It Comes To Food?
When it comes to food being a locavore means eating food that is grown locally and is in season. Not always, but it may also be foods that are native to the area a locavore lives in. Often locavores grow the food they eat themselves as well.
For example, if you’re living somewhere near the coast then seafood should be a staple of your diet, because it’s so plentiful there.
If you live inland, however, then focus on different types of meat or vegetables depending on what’s available at the time and in abundance wherever you happen to be located geographically!
Locavores eat fresh produce from their local farmers market, buy postcode honey, drink home-brewed beer instead of macro beers like Budweiser.
They also may choose organic eggs over battery farm eggs to support small local businesses whenever possible.
Why Would Someone Want to Become a Locavore?
There are many reasons why people may choose to become a locavore.
Here are just a few:
Locavores believe living the way they do is best for the environment because they’re not depleting natural resources and polluting the world around them.
This is because of the carbon emissions and fuel being used to fly produce halfway across the world. When you pick up something locally produced, it would take minutes or tops a couple of hours to get from the source to your table.
Whereas when you buy non-locally produced food it would often take days before you can consume it. This also goes for meat, poultry, dairy, coffee beans and, in fact, all kinds of food.
Yes, choosing to eat non-locally produced food has a massive impact on our planet. Not only how and how far the foods are transported, but the entire production and processing chain affects our environment.
So, by choosing to eat local food we reduce emissions which is helping to protect the environment.
Another good reason to eat local food is for personal health and wellbeing, because by doing so you have more of a chance of knowing where and how your food was grown.
Whether or not it has been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals.
Locavorism can also be seen as an act of patriotism because you support your local economy instead of buying things made overseas.
This is a fantastic way to stimulate your local economy while supporting local farmers and shops.
It’s better to support a local farmer that has been growing their crops since before you were born than it is to buy from an industrial farm with no connection to the land they’re using.
Why is Being a Locavore Bad?
If you want to be really picky then being a true locavore can be ‘bad’ or more like inconvenient in some ways, as being one means that you can’t eat anything that has been shipped by sea, on a plane or even by road when it’s from far away.
For example, if you live in an area where there are no waterways of some kind, then of course, fish would be one product that would not be locally available.
But if you really really love fish or you have to have fish and other fish products high in Omega3 due to your health condition, then you’d have to eat fish that isn’t local .
The only way to become a true locavore in this case would be for you to move closer to a river, lake or sea, which isn’t always possible.
And, if you live in Virginia, then this means no oranges from California either, unless, of course, you live in California then these oranges are local for you.
It depends on how adaptable you are and if the place you live in has enough local nutritional produce to cover your needs. If you can make do with local foods you can find that this lifestyle is not bad at all, you just have to adapt and know what foods you can grow and find locally.
How do I Completely Eat Locally Grown Food?
Eating foods that are locally grown means that you are not only supporting your local economy, but also helping reduce the carbon footprint of food production.
There are a variety of ways to find locally sourced foods.
You can start with buying produce from community gardens and farmers markets in your area, for example.
Search for local farms; often these farms will have a shop right there at the farm, where you could directly buy local produce harvested on the day.
Normally, you’d be also able to talk to the farmers and find out all about the food they are growing. You might even learn about new vegetables, fruit or herbs that you haven’t used in cooking before.
If you are interested in organic produce, the best bet is to consider gardening yourself, so that you know exactly what’s going into your body without having any chemicals sprayed on anything before being harvested.
However, you might find that there are some organic farms within your specified local area.
When you grow your own fruit and vegetables, it might happen that you harvest more than you need. Locavores do not have a problem with that because they just eat what they grow themselves!
They preserve produce for the colder season: pickle, dry, freeze, make jams and so on.
You can also trade with your neighbors, friends and family. Or, you can join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or participate in an online community exchange where people trade produce with each other for their own consumption.
Look for recipes that use ingredients available in your region to help you create simple and tasty dishes.
Is Local Food Really Better?
Of course, local food is better. If it’s local it’s got to be fresher! It really does make a difference, and you should take advantage of eating locally grown food as often as possible for your health and the environment.
So, whenever possible you should only eat what you grow yourself or buy from a local farmer who is using organic methods.
At the very least, if a local product is available, you should check it out and see if it’s good before purchasing an equal non-local product, even if you aren’t a true locavore, every penny counts!
The more people that eat locally grown food the better it is for our environment.
Do You Think It Is Better To Buy Local Products?
People want to have fresh produce all year around and supermarkets are able to meet the demand with their supplies that are sourced from all over the world. And this isn’t only due to the seasons, but also due to different crops growing better in different climates.
For example, exotic fruit doesn’t grow in cold countries.
When food comes from further away, it will have been picked earlier, so it lasts longer. The disadvantage of this is that the food will most often have little to no flavor compared to one that has been grown locally and left to ripen naturally.
Tomatoes and mangos are a perfect example; they often lack flavor when they are picked before they are ripe.
Before you purchase them, they are stored in cold storage while being transferred to the store, which in turn, when they end up on your kitchen bench, makes them rote quicker and often before they are fully ripened.
Buying locally grown produce will provide a less varied diet than shopping at a supermarket. This means that if you only eat locally grown food, you will not be able to have fresh strawberries for dessert in winter.
However, buying local products is the key to eating environmentally friendly and healthy food. Take advantage of your local resources without having to over consume or waste energy on transporting goods from other parts of the country or world.
A locavore movement or CSA (community-supported agriculture) is a group of people who try to eat only food that comes from within a small radius of their home. There are no strict rules as to how big the radius should be, so you can define the size yourself.
There are plenty of such communities all over the world, and you can join one in your local area.
It will allow you to source and trade locally grown foods, which in turn will help you to become a locavore.
In addition, since you’re eating what grows around you rather than foods shipped in from other countries, you’ll have access to fruits and vegetables that aren’t growing in your garden.
Locavores Pros and Cons
Here are the pros and cons of being a locavore. As you can see, there are plenty of advantages to being a locavore, but there are also some disadvantages.
Locavores’ diet can be healthier and tastier than the typical Western diet, because they aren’t eating all of those processed foods that contain preservatives. They get more nutrients and less sugar from their food sources, which is good for them in the long run as well as their environment. Make your own meal at home without any additives or ingredients coming from outside your local radius.
Their lifestyle will have fewer negative impacts on CO2 and other greenhouse gas levels to our planet’s atmosphere, which is a big issue today. Also, other things like water consumption, fossil fuel usage, deforestation rates, etc. will decrease with more people leading this healthy style of living.
Locavores will save money by cooking at home with locally sourced ingredients rather than going out all the time. Eating healthier food can help prevent diseases like diabetes and obesity from occurring too. For those looking to go green and stay healthy there might be no better choice!
You may have to wait until a certain season to get the type of produce or meat that you want.
You may not be able to afford as much when eating local food as it often is more expensive.
Eating local food also means either going to a restaurant that only uses locally grown ingredients or having to cook yourself. Unfortunately, many people don’t have time for cooking, which is why they eat out more often because it’s easier for them.
However, if you do want to become a locavore, you will need to spare time for cooking and learn if you still don’t know how, as there aren’t as many of those restaurants around just yet that only use local produce.
If you are a fan of organic food, it might be not as easy to find a local farm that grows organic produce.
Being a locavore has its own benefits and drawbacks like everything else, so at the end of the day it’s your personal choice to do good for yourself or the environment.
To wrap up our discussion, eating locally is better for your health and the environment. It’s more expensive than buying what we eat from people who are producing food on a mega-scale.
But, investing in sustainably raised meat, eggs, dairy products and fresh produce means a healthier life.
If you take into account all that goes into the entire process from planting seeds to harvesting produce or growing animals to maturity and do it in a creative, frugal way, you will understand why being a locavore isn’t very cheap.
Obviously, being a locavore isn’t going to be for everyone, but if you’re into fresh local food and want it whenever possible, give it a go.
Even if you’re still buying other food when you can’t source local you’re still helping your local community.
There’s nothing better than fresh local food! Thanks for reading.