Localvore Challenge

All summer we have been buying food at the local farmers market. Last week I signed up for the Green City Market’s Localvore Challenge. Starting September 10 all of the participants will eat only locally produced food for two weeks. At first the challenge seemed improbable for someone with a family; however, after planning the menus and considering the impact, I find it works on so many levels. Health. Small business support. Environment. Money. Education.

As you can imagine, the health benefits are significant. No preservatives. No chemicals. You eat fresh foods that retain their nutrients. Trust me, they even taste different when they are fresh. This one is a no brainer.

The impact of giving your money to a small, local business instead of big corporations is enormous. Having been raised in a family owned and run business, this is a passionate subject for me. How better to show my children the significance of small businesses than to put my money where my mouth is. At the market, my kids talk and joke with the farmers all while learning about their farm and what is involved in growing the food that eventually reaches our dining table. The kids are building relationships with the farmers just like our customers trusted and relied on my parents.

Ever since I started to go green I started to really analyze simple things that I overlooked before. I am sure many of you agree that an eco-conscious lifestyle forces you to remove your blinders. Things like fuel, pesticides, chemicals, plastics, and industry were never really scrutinized before. Now each purchase I make I consider who produced it, where they are shipping form, how they packaged the product and of course, what are the ingredients. With minimal, if any packaging, there is less waste produced, less chemicals used and less fuel consumed. It all makes sense to me.

Eating locally has put me in touch with the notion of what I need versus what I want. Once I pair down the excess, I can focus on eating simply. And by simple, I still mean delicious food that bursts with flavor without killing my bank account. By shopping at the market twice a week I waste less and use everything.

My last thought focuses on education for the entire family. Taking this challenge teaches my children what it is like to transform your daily habits to honor a commitment to the greater good. Each step walks us through the basic virtues we value and try to embody: humanity, integrity, perseverance, ambition and honesty. I imagine that the pure satisfaction and other intangible gifts we receive after the two weeks will permanently change our habits.

An Original 5 Minutes for Going Green post. Jen shares her crazy journey raising kids and going green as The EcoChic Organizer.

One Response to Localvore Challenge
  1. Arianne (To Think Is To Create)
    September 11, 2008 | 12:14 pm

    This is so cool, I love that there are communities getting together and challenging each other like this.