I got so excited over finding out where to buy local stuff in the last few days, talking about doing a locavore pledge and all, and I completely forgot that not everyone knows what a locavore is. At first glance, I know the word looks like I am “crazy about eating”. Well, that IS true, but that is not what a locavore really is.
The definition of locavore is simply someone who strives to eat most or all of their diet from locally produced sources. Back in the olden days (way before I was born you see) almost everyone was a locavore, before there was word for it. People farmed the land, growing everything they needed to feed their families, or traded with neighbors for things they didn’t produce themselves.
Over time, people started working outside the home, moving away from farms, into subdivisions and cities, and started buying all their food from the supermarkets in town. The foods available in the supermarkets has to be trucked in, sometimes from other sections of the country. It has to be picked before it if fully ripe, so that it doesn’t spoil from the farm to the market.
Sometimes, well, a lot of times, vegetables and fruits have to be treated with chemicals or wax to keep them looking fresh and good. Add in that the cost of shipping from far away makes the cost of these items go up. The end result is food that is not the best tasting, not as good for you, not as good for the environment due to pollution from shipping, etc. etc…. Eating foods produced on farms within a 100 mile radius of your home becomes a better option the more you find out about the supply chain.
Long before Fabgrandpa and I had ever heard the term locavore, we had striven to buy our fruits and vegetables from local farmers where ever we may have ended up. Nothing in the world has tasted better to me than the asparagus we bought on the farm in the northern neck of Virginia, or the cherries we got on the side of the road in Pennsylvania that were just hand picked that morning. Oh, and don’t forget the garlic farm we visited in Gettysburg! I never knew there could be so many different flavors of garlic!
I hope this is enough information for you to know exactly what a locavore is. If not, here are some links to more information. Are you one? Don’t be afraid to tell us. Do you want to be? What will you do this year to come closer to your goal of eating your foods from local producers?