Your Cheat Sheet to a Local ThanksgivingPosted: November 5, 2013
However you define eating locally, whether it’s strictly food from within a 100 mile radius, simply domestically grown or made foods, or somewhere in between, one of the best times to be conscious of where your food comes from is during Thanksgiving. It may seem complicated at first, so we thought we’d provide a little help to get you started with some resources that can show you where to get locally produced foods in your area.
Let’s all give thanks to the great local producers who give us tasty foods from our own neighborhoods.
Here are the places to start your investigation:
Winter Farmers Markets – in some parts of the country, farmers markets are still running. There can be a lot of different producers at these markets, but make sure you ask them where their farm is located. Sometimes booths are set up with produce that is just bought from a national distributor and sold under the guise that it’s local. Here’s a link to help you find winter farmers markets in your area - http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/default.aspx
Local Food Bloggers – do a quick Internet search for food bloggers in your area. They typically write about great local sources for food (just like this guy). And if you don’t see anything written about local sources I’m sure the blogger won’t mind if you send them a message asking if they have any recommendations. Food bloggers are a social bunch so I’m sure you’ll get a warm response. www.google.com
Local Slow Food Chapter – The Slow Food organization spans across this country, with chapters in most states. It’s mission is to get people to think more about the food they eat and support the local food producers around the country. Reach out to your local chapter either via their website or Facebook page and inquire about recommended sources for local foods. You’ll probably get more information than you need. You can search here for a local chapter near you – www.slowfoodusa.org/local-chapters
Publishers/Magazines – don’t forget about the obvious places, such as culinary magazines, including Edible Communities Publications (and their website), which has many regional editions that write at great length about the local food scene in your area. They have 80 editions across the country all with localized editorial. Here is a link to their website – www.ediblecommunities.com
Local Supermarket – when all else fails, most supermarkets now have local food sections that may feature local produce, meat or gourmet foods, such as cheeses and cured meats. If you don’t see anything, be sure to ask the store manager. If they don’t have it on hand, they may be able to get something in before the holiday.
So now you have a starting point, begin planning and shopping. Make it a fun experience…and maybe if you reach out to some of the organizations mentioned above, you might learn something new, get new ideas or make new friends.
And of course, if you have any questions about local eating, you can always reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy local Thanksgiving!