GFNC Lovacore Week 3– June, 2013.
Theme: LOCAVORE: Eat Local, it’s the healthier choice.
Hereunder is the schedule for the week:
||Eat Local Day
||La Tante Junction
||Spot a locavore
||Cook and taste
||Families, workplaces and businesses
What is Locavore?
Locavores are persons who pay attention to where their food comes from and commit to eating local foods as much as possible. The great thing about eating local is that it’s not an all-or-nothing venture. Any small step you take helps the environment, protects your family’s health and supports small farmers in your area.
The food may be grown in home gardens or grown by local commercial groups interested in keeping the environment as clean as possible and selling food close to where it is grown.
Benefits of being a LOCAVORE
- It supports the local economy– when businesses are locally owned; money stays within the community at every transaction. In addition, food that is locally produced and consumed reduces the cost for importation, therefore keeping monies within the country.
- Fresher food– While produce that is purchased in the supermarket or a store has travelled a long distance and may be cold stored for days or weeks, food purchased at a local farmer’s market has often been picked within a 24 hour time frame of purchase. This freshness is important for taste and nutritional value, which declines with time.
- Tastes Better– Food that’s grown closer to home always taste better because it has retained its freshness and nutrients, lending to a more appealing taste.
- Supports good air quality and lessens pollution- food that has travelled long distances causes damage to the environment. The fuel used in transporting the food, releases toxins in the air we breathe, making it unsafe and exposing our bodies to pollutants that can make us sick.
- Keeps us in touch with the seasons-By eating with the seasons, we are eating foods when they are at their peak taste, are most abundant and nutritious and the least expensive.
- More Variety-Foods produced locally will have a shorter shelf life and low yield demand by the farmer, therefore this leaves room for growing other small crops of various fruits and vegetables.
- Supports responsible land developers- when you buy local, you give those with local open space, farms and pastures an economic reason to stay open and undeveloped.
- Protects us from bioterrorism-Food with less distance to travel from farm to plate has less susceptibility to harmful contamination.
- Brings comfort- Knowing where your food comes from is a powerful part of enjoying a meal. It eliminates the fears and concerns associated with the uncertainties of whether the food you are eating is the best for your body and wellness.
How to adopt LOCAVORE into your lifestyle
1) Visit a farmers’ market. Farmers’ markets keep small farms in business through direct sales. Rather than going through a middleman, the farmer takes home nearly all of the money that you hand him or her for delectable fruit and produce
2) Lobby your supermarket. Ask your supermarket manager where your meat, produce and dairy are coming from. Remember that market managers are trained to realize that for each person actually asking the question, several others want to know the same answer. Let the market managers know what’s important to you! Your show of interest is crucial to help the supermarket change its purchasing practices.
3) Choose 5 foods in your house that you can buy locally. Rather than trying to source everything locally all at once, try swapping out just 5 local foods. Fruits and vegetables that can be grown throughout the Caribbean include mango, root vegetables, lettuce, herbs and greens. In most areas, it’s also possible to find meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and cheese—all grown, harvested and produced close to your home.
4) Preserve a local food for when it is out of season. Making jams, jellies and preserves with fruit guarantees you will be able to consume them
even when the season is over. In addition, blanching and freezing or pickling fruit and vegetables provide for use when they aren’t as readily available.
5) Find out what restaurants in your area support local farmers. You can do this by asking the restaurants about their ingredients directly, or by asking your favorite farmers what restaurant accounts they have. Frequent the businesses that support your farmers.
6) Host a local Independence Day or other major holiday celebration. Make a dish or an entire meal from local foods.
7) Buy from local vendors. Can’t find locally grown? How about locally produced? Many areas have locally produced jams, jellies and breads as well as locally made cocoa and locally created confections. While these businesses may not always use strictly local ingredients in their products, by purchasing them you are supporting the local economy.
8) Ask about origins. Not locally grown? Then where is it from? Call the producer of your favorite foods to see where the ingredients are from. You’ll be amazed how many large processed food companies are unable to tell you where your food came from. By continuing to ask the questions you are sending a message to the companies that consumers want to know the origin of ingredients.
9) Visit a farm in your area and call to make an appointment to see the farm.
Ms. Marcia Cameron, Grenada Food & Nutrition Council