I thought I’d heard it all… vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, ovo-vegetarian, omnivore, carnivore, herbivore and a bunch of others. But then I was presented with the idea to write an article on the locavore movement. With a love for food, nutrition, health, wellbeing and anything that remotely falls in to these categories, I naturally jumped at the opportunity.
So what exactly is a Locavore?
A locavore is someone is who eats food grown or produced within a certain radius of where they live, such as 50, 100, 250 km. The locavore movement was founded by Jessica Prentice of San Francisco at the 2005 World Environment Day and encourages people to buy from farmers’ markets or produce their own food due to it being a more environmentally friendly, community-enhancing means of obtaining food, and with the added benefit of fresh food being more nutritious, pure and tasty. See http://www.locavores.com/ for more details.
Sounds good to me, in theory. But I can imagine it would take a bit of getting used to. Personally I have become quite fond of hacking my cleaver in to the outer husk of a young coconut each day, with the reward of a large glass of hydrating coconut water. Yes yes yes, I know that those coconuts have travelled the long journey from Thailand to get to me, but isn’t that the beauty of the world that we live in these days?
Anyhow, in aid of research I devoted a week to being a true locavore and whoa what an interesting experiment it was.
No more exotic herbal teas from all over the world; no more pasta, tinned tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and parmesan cheese from Italy; no more seaweeds, umeboshi plums, and mirin from Japan; no more maple syrup from Canada, pumpernickel bread from Germany, or my much loved daily coconut habit from Thailand. Yikes!!!! What on earth am I going to eat?
Let’s just say that it was a great learning experience and that I have become a lot more mindful of my choices, and aware of how easy it is to reduce my carbon footprint by choosing local over imported. Personally, I love farmers’ markets so the whole eating local fresh fruit and veggies thing was a no-brainer. What I did discover, however, is the unnecessary amount of imported goods I purchase, such as cheeses and tinned tomatoes, and pastas, and pumpernickel bread, when there are great local alternatives at the markets and health food store. For some strange reason I had the romantic notion that my pasta dishes would taste better if the produce came from Italy, but the reality proves otherwise – local produce tastes just as good. I am also keen to start my veggie patch in the back garden as the whole idea of fresh herbs and veggies is one that I will revel in, and also makes perfect sense when I think of all the herbs that have perished due to my inability to get through the whole bunch that quickly.
I have, however, gone back to my daily coconut drinking and Japanese produce until I can source local suppliers of these highly nutritious and oh so yummy foods.
So, what about you? Would you like to become more aware of your choices? Are there any imported goods that you can replace with fresh and local alternatives?
How about making it a challenge this week to give it a go.
On a side note… if you’d really like to embrace this type of lifestyle and make every purchase and choice a local one, make the conscious effort to read the label BEFORE purchasing clothing, accessories, homewares and any other consumables; look in to local holidays before the temptation of heading overseas; and always look for that “Australian Made and Owned” seal of approval.
Click here to read the version on www.myspringday.com.au