Livin’ La Vida Locavore

June 11, 2008 at 3:04 am Leave a comment

I recently blogged about exploring alternative lifestyles like going vegan or adopting freeganism or trying dumpster diving. I just came across another alternative approach to food and living that, while not quite as outré as some of the others, is still less than mainstream.

Becoming a “locavore” entails eating only seasonally available, locally grown food. Sounds kind of hippie-ish, doesn’t it? For me, it conjures visions of people wearing broad-brimmed hats crouched in front of neat rows of nutrient-rich dirt.

“For years, the idea of eating only food grown locally and in season was reserved for upscale chefs like Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., or serious hippies living off the grid, while the rest of us didn’t think twice about gulping down blueberries from Chile or avocadoes from Mexico.”

With the current economic situation, the popularity of books like “The Omnivore’s Dilemma“, and concerns about the environment, more and more average Americans are making food decisions based on where food originates and how it’s processed. This tends to be a much healthier way to eat, too, because locally available items are predominantly fresh fruits and vegetables.

Like any dietary discipline, it can be hard to do it 100% of the time. One “locavore” eats locally about 85% and includes one month of total local eating during an annual “eat local challenge”. Even allowing that 15% cushion, though, during the rest of the year, being a “locavore” can be tough.

“In order to eat locally through the winter without getting scurvy or facing a family revolt, locavores are forced to take on domestic efforts that most families haven’t tackled for generations.”

Canning and other “long-forgotten food preservation skills” are critical to local-eating success and can be daunting to learn. Not to mention that it can be expensive to eat this way; the volume discounts many food manufacturers offer don’t translate to smaller, local enterprises. It also costs time, primarily in preparation hours devoted to packing the pantry with off-season goods.

Think you might want to live la vida “locavore”? Check out the book “Plenty“, which chronicles one couple’s year-long experiment with eating locally.


Entry filed under: clean eating, diet recommendations, food review, news around the blogosphere. Tags: , .

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