Becoming a locavore starts at home
It’s no secret that the trend of buying and eating local is on the rise, especially in North America where most of the produce travels from an entirely different continent. Environmental activists want you to eat local because you’ll cut down on the pollution and destruction of fossil fuels caused by transporting those oranges from Brazil to your breakfast table in Maine. Growing solely in greenhouses with artificial light and heat also destroys fossil fuels. While the preservation of our environment is clearly important, I think the real driving factor behind becoming a locavore is improvement of the quality of life: Not only will the food taste better (because it’s not being harvested while still green and then left in a truck for weeks as it moves across the world), but it might even cost you less (especially if you’re growing it in your own back yard.)
If you’ve gotten this far and are still wondering what a “locavore” is, it’s someone who chooses to eat seasonal, locally-sourced foods rather than industrially-farmed meat and produce. Most of the time, “local” is within 100 miles of you although some prefer to set stricter limits. The concept is so trendy that Webster’s Dictionary even chose “locavore” as the word of the year in 2007.
The push to buy produce and meat at farmer’s markets has been on the rise for the last few years – but those with a little determination and perseverance will find raising their own fruits, vegetables and more very rewarding. Stick a few tomato seeds into pots on your patio and see how easy it can be to start growing your own produce. And the difference in taste is almost alarming.
But did you know you can also raise your own meat at home; even if you live in an apartment? When people think about raising their own meat, they generally think of chickens, cattle, goats, ducks and other livestock. But raising rabbits for meat and fur is an easy alternative for anyone who wants to become more self-sufficient. Rabbit is also very high in protein and low in fat and cholestrol so you’ll also be eating healthier while saving money. You only need 3-4 rabbits to get started and 1 young rabbit provides just the right amount of meat to feed a family of four. Rabbit meat has a neutral flavor, like chicken, and can be used in a wide variety of dishes without anyone noticing the difference.
What do you grow or buy local? Do you look for restaurants that also are pledging to get their produce and meat local? Isn’t it better to support your community directly instead of sending all that money overseas?