— Gina Coburn, Crow River Food Council Member
What is the 10 Day Eat Local Food Challenge and how does one even begin? Gina details her introduction to the challenge in part one of this post.
90% of our food comes from the industrial food supply and surely none of us is starving to death. So what is the point of eating local food? Well, here are a few reasons Vicki cited in her introduction audio on the Local Food Challenge website and they are borne out in my experience:
- Health and personal vitality: Knowing the source of our food, knowing the farmers that raised it, the land that produced it, contributes to our mind and body’s health.
- Sustainability: As in our responsibility to leave the earth in at least as good a shape as we found it for the people (our children and grandchildren) that come after us.
- Community: Sharing food has always been a social activity, it connects us. And in a larger sense, eating local food contributes to our local economy by supporting the farmers and land where we live.
- Sovereignty: As citizens, it is wise to have control over the land, water, soil and seeds that we depend on for our lives.
And maybe one of the best reasons of all is:
- Potency vs. resignation: Engaging in an activity that in some way tackles one of our BIG issues, connects us to our world in a tangible way. It might be a small step but it’s a step that if taken by many, would have a large effect on our planet.
So what are the road blocks? Why don’t we get more than 10% of our food from local sources?
- Time: Much of the food we consider locally sourced is whole food and needs some time to prepare or preserve.
- Talent: Not everyone knows what to do when faced with a whole chicken or a beet to make it taste good.
- Treasure: True or not, it is perceived that eating locally sourced food costs more.
- Pariah factor: It is getting easier but it’s more difficult to eat local food…going out to restaurants and invitations from friends might be tricky if you’re challenging yourself to eat only local.
- Food is more than just food: We have food habits, emotional attachments and definite likes and dislikes when it comes to food.
By the way, Vicki’s audio is 45 minutes long and inspiring if you want to hear more about the above.
So is the 10 Day Local Food Challenge worth it? I found it was … find Gina’s final thoughts on her experience as she finished the challenge, with additional sources of local food she discovered, in part three.