Locavore became a word in the Oxford American Dictionary in 2007 and is defined as a person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food.
In an age of increased use of pesticides and other food contaminants, people are buying locally in order to make healthier choices, to support local farmers, and to help the environment. There are several ways to buy locally, whether by a local farmer’s market, a community supported agriculture subscription (a weekly local delivery of produce), or participation in a co-op.
Many corporate facilities now offer gardens that are maintained by employees. The food they grow is then harvested and included in their company cafeterias. School gardens are another great way to promote eating locally as well as teaching kids at a young age that the taste and quality of home-grown local produce far beats the 1,500 mile trek their cross country produce makes, eliminating the gas guzzling of buying out of your region.
"Local food is often safer, too," says the Center for a New American Dream (CNAD). "Even when it's not organic, small farms tend to be less aggressive than large factory farms about dousing their wares with chemicals."
The mantle of Locavore does not just apply to fruits and veggies. Meats and poultry from local farmers tend to taste better, are fresher, and small farms tend to use fewer hormones and other additives than big meat packers do. They also tend to grow more variety than the big farms, which creates and protects biodiversity.
According to a San Francisco-based group of Locavores intent on supporting people’s wish to better their lives and their families’ lives, the following are helpful suggestions:
If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic. This is one of the most readily available alternatives in the market and making this choice protects the environment and your body from harsh chemicals and hormones.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm. When faced with Kraft or Cabot cheeses, Cabot, a dairy co-op in Vermont, is the better choice. Supporting family farms helps to keep food processing decisions out of the hands of corporate conglomeration.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business. Basics like coffee and bread make buying local difficult. Try a local coffee shop or bakery to keep your food dollar close to home.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Terroir, which means 'taste of the Earth'. Purchase foods famous for the region they are grown in and support the agriculture that produces your favorite non-local foods such as Brie cheese from Brie, France or parmesan cheese from Parma, Italy.
For those tech-savvy locavores, www.getlocavore.comeven has an app for smart phones available on itunes where consumers can input their zipcode and see where and what they can buy locally.
Try it today!