There have been so many articles on local food lately, it's hard to keep up. Maybe it's that the high summer growing season is upon us, and the sheer bounty and promise of fresh, local, food is inspiring writers and eaters from coast to coast. I found several local food advocate organizations today online and want to further the "Buy Local" message here. So click and explore the links below. Family dinners are a natural part of the slow food movement, even though it is sometimes cast as a elitist, foodie sentiment. Family dinners not only provide your own family with nurture and stability, they contribute to the wider economy and ecosystem of how food gets produced and delivered to the table, By choosing healthy, "cook-you-own" food, that is also as local and organic as possible, you help improve the system. You help make family farms economically viable while educating your children about food, culture, and the wider world. One study of the Maine agriculture system cites that consumer shifting of just 1% of their purchases to local goods, increased farmer's income by 5%. Every little bit helps, and the summer is the easiest time ever to enjoy what great local produce is all about.
Coming up soon is the Slow Food Nation Conference (Labor Day Aug 29-Sept 1 2008) in San Francisco. I won't be there, but I look forward to vicariously celebrating local food via the blog posts and news articles that sure will follow. Edible nation writer calls it the "First Continental Culinary Congress." Forgetting for a moment that the First U.S. Continental Congress is often considered a failure, it did serve to inspire the Constitution and the re-making of our nation. Can we hope for the same with good old local food? It's sure to be a good time, anyway.
Some ways to find and support local food:
Guide to NYC greenmarkets here and what's in season: Pride of NY Harvest schedule.
Food Routes: A national non-profit which sponsors "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" Chapters nationwide
Search local food directories from ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, a public-private partnership with the USDA.
Eat Local Challenge Join the East Local Challenge October 2008, start planning now!
Local Harvest, an extensive website and directory connecting people to local food sources, search by zip code, or mail order from small farms nationwide.
My Top Six Favorite Farm Food sites, by Ethan Book, www.epicurious.com editor
More Articles on Local Food.
Comments on NYT's Lazy Locavores article at Grist.org
Mark Bittman belongs to a CSA and here's his happy report: Back to the Farm, Bitten Blog 08.05.08
Register Your Beliefs: how to go green at the grocery, also at Grist.org
Niche Farming Offers Way Back to the Land, Brent Bowers NYT, 08.06.08
Greenmarket Sellers Debate Maze of Producers-Only Rule Indrani Sen, NYT, 08.06.08
NYT Well blog post on healthy local food: Boosting Health with Local Food. 06.06.08