Friday, August 12, 2011

UnDiet...Week 29

Local heirloom tomatoes...worth more than any dusty knick knack!

Oh haven't given up on me!

Week 29 into this journey of ours, I would like to ask something special of you. August is the perfect month to celebrate all the good food that is around us so it is time to really get connected. I, along with my friend Heather, am doing the Growing Chefs Get Local! Local Food Challenge for 7 days starting Sunday. We are chronicling our journey (and our recipes!) all week long on our new blog, The Fresh Sheet

So what does eating locally have to do with being healthy? I am glad you asked.

1. Eating close to home is better for the planet. A healthy planet makes a healthy human through the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land that our food grows in. Shipping food long distances pollutes the earth and wastes precious resources. Food grown close to home doesn't have to travel far.

2. Food that doesn't have to travel far can be picked closer to its ripe peak. Ripe fruits and vegetables express their full flavour and nutrition. So food tastes better, satisfies us more fully and nourishes us more fully. In addition, less travel time means that less nutrients are lost between farm time and dinner time. 

3. Choosing foods based on their social and environmental impact helps us think more intelligently about the act of eating. So often, we have a distorted and self-centered view of food; it is entertainment, pleasure, reward and penance. Thinking about the act of eating and where our food comes from connects us to the miracle that is food grown out of the earth.

4. Buying local food is a vote that you make with your dollars that quality food means something to you. Food companies, which exist solely to sell us our food, respond to where they see the money going and if enough of us vote, our food supply will become healthier as a result. Supply follows demand, always.

5. Focusing on local foods means focusing on real, whole foods. Our current health crisis is one borne of eating fake, processed, lifeless foods. Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, meats, nuts and seeds nourishes our bodies and sustains our health.

I hope that this week you will join us at The Fresh Sheet and then commit to eating as local as possible for at least one meal a day or one whole day next week. As you do, think about how the act of thinking critically about your food changes your relationship to it. And see if you don't feel a whole lot healthier for it.

Get local, people!

PS...while times are tough, if you are able, please consider supporting Growing Chefs by pledging us this challenge week. They are looking to raise $4000 which is enough to put 4 chefs in the classroom for the school year. Educating the next generation to be conscious and healthful eaters is critical to our future success as a nation.

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