In the last year, we’ve made more of an attempt to “eat locally.” We have always enjoyed eating at local restaurants, but we wanted to take that a step further and eat food that was grown in the area. We found out that many of our favorite restaurants get their produce from the same farmers we buy from at the farmer’s market.
While most of our food money still goes to HEB and Costco, we are trying to put more back into the local economy.
Along with the farmer’s market, we signed up to get CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes. With a weekly or bi-weekly subscription, local farms will fill a box with freshly picked produce to be picked up. Part of the fun is that you don’t know what you’ll be getting – just that it will be seasonal and local. If you’ve been following along, I’ve chronicled the contents and end products of several boxes. A great menu-planning adventure to me!
Some benefits of buying local:
- A typical carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to reach your dinner table. (source) Or I can buy one at the farmer’s market that traveled less than 50. The ones from our CSA travel 15 miles. That’s a lot of transportation resources saved.
- Farmer’s markets enable farmers to keep 80-90 cents on the dollar spent by the consumer. (source)
- The nutritional value of produce declines with time after it is picked. Therefore, spinach from the farmer’s market (or CSA) that was picked yesterday actually has more nutrients than spinach at the store that was picked a week ago. (source)
- Local food has more variety – purple cauliflower, mustard greens, heirloom tomatoes, and types of apples I haven’t heard of.
- It’s fun! We love to stroll through the tents and talk to people that grow food and make food and love food! This is a great opportunity for Hannah to learn about different types of food and feel more of a connection to what we eat.