Are you a “locavore?” This word caught my eye today and I find it suits my growing anticipation for the opening of our local Farmers Market. A regional foodie’s magazine used this term which got me thinking. Great word! I’m convinced that consuming products, created nearby (both edible and non) is of great value to all of us. So, if you are a “locavore” this means you make an effort to buy and consume foods that are grown or produced from your region. This word is not recognized by my computer’s spell check. Dictionary.com does include its definition:
“one who eats only locally grown or raised food, by 2001, from local + ending abstracted from carnivore , etc., ult. from L. vorare “to devour”
Yes, we all know the benefits of this. Not only does it support the livelihood of your local farmer and food producer, there is scientific evidence that the health benefits are many. Locally grown food is fresher than containerized and shipped items, and thus richer in vitamins and minerals. Additionally, locally grown honey and some plants are known to boost resistance to allergies. The website pioneerthinking.com relates how eating local honey regularly is an immune system booster and has the effect of those allergy immunological shots that reduce the impact of pollen on us. Easy homeopathy, I’d say, if you like honey! Local, small farms tend to use fewer chemicals than bigger factory farms that produce quantity and ship far distances. This means healthier meals for you! (www.myoptimhealth.com) Plus, the best part, is that local food products just taste so good!
So, if you follow this thread a little further….the idea of “locavore,” if embraced around the world would increase local prosperity which would enrich and vitalize communities all over the globe. Healthier globe, healthier you! Ripple effect here – increasing regional sustainability equals decreasing dependence on foreign subsidies. Yes, I know that the western world’s consumerism assists local producers and artisans in 3rd world countries, and that we cannot solely disengage from this connection. Balance and conscious choices are key. A commitment to being a “locavore” does not in any way rule out the awareness we should exercise in our consumption practices. Really, it simply opens the door to healthy body, healthy community, and yummy experiences for anyone.
As well as being an omni and carni, I will embrace becoming more “locavore.” It can’t hurt and probably helps a lot more than we know. One more thing: today on NPR there was a story about Archi’s Acres, an organic farm in Southern California that is training ex-military for sustainable agriculture/farming careers . Returning veterans are developing new skills and gaining peace of mind in a career where they can continue to feel of service to their community. You can be sure they are learning the value of being a locavore, and of establishing small farms that produce fresh, organic foods.
Take a bite out of something ultra fresh grown nearby and you will not only give yourself a delicious nutritional charge, you will be boosting your local economy. Take care of yourself and your neighbor and the ripple effect will be felt far and wide!