I’m not really into labels, but when I heard the term ‘locavore’ it really resonated with me and my approach to food. It’s all about trying to eat food that is locally grown and produced. And while it’s pretty tricky to be a purest locavore, I really like it as a guiding principle when I’m making choices about food.
There are so many wins with eating locally. The less distance travelled for food the better, from both a nutritional and carbon perspective. Eating local also means that, by default, we’re more likely to be eating food in season, which usually means fewer resources are used to grow things and it normally tastes way better. It can often be easier to source local food with less or no packaging, and growing and producing locally also helps build resilience into our food systems.
Here are some of my favourite ways to go local when it comes to food:
- Grow it: You don’t get much more local than growing your own fresh produce. There’s just nothing like picking something fresh out of your own garden or off your windowsill and adding it to a meal. And remember that food growing isn’t an all-or-nothing game, growing a few leafy greens and herbs can go a really long way. Check out our benchtop gardening tips. (https://www.choosewell.co.nz/blog/benchtop-gardening)
- Share: Connecting with others can be a cool way to fuel your inner locavore. Maybe you can chat with your neighbours about growing and sharing different produce, or see if there is a local ‘Crop Swap’ (www.cropswap.co.nz/) happening in your community. You may even be able to find a local community garden in your area where you can trade your time for some freshly grown fruit and veg.
- Shop local: I love shopping at roadside stalls for produce – things are normally super fresh and you’ll often get a real bargain. Farmers Markets are also a great option, and some of them even offer local delivery if you can’t get there in person.
- Check the label: If I’m shopping in more conventional stores, I always like to check the labels on both fresh produce and packaged food to see where things have come from. If items have travelled halfway around the world, I’ll normally see if I can switch it out for a more local alternative.
Going local when it comes food can be a great switch for our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet.