Are You a Locavore?

Support your health and the strength of the economy by sourcing your groceries locally.

  • Buying local produce strengthen your relationship with your community and benefits your health and the economy.
    Photo by Unsplash/@ijihao
  • “The New Kansas Cookbook” by Frank and Jayni Carey shares original Kansas recipes as well as those that focus on local agriculture. The compilation pulls from Carey’s own recipes as well as those submitted by Kansas and local restaurants.
    Cover by Louis Copt

The New Kansas Cookbook (University Press of Kansas, 2016) by Frank and Jayni Carey compiles recipes built from the agriculture local to Kansas. The cookbook includes recipes from top local restaurants as well as original recipes submitted by Kansans. The Careys have been cooking together since they met and have published two cookbooks together. The following excerpt discusses the benefits of buying food locally.

Are you concerned about where your food comes from? Do you seek out fresh, seasonal, locally grown produce, meats, and other foods? Chances are you are well on your way to becoming a locavore.

What is a locavore, exactly? The root of the term lies in the word “local.” It means being conscious of the distance between where food is produced and where it is consumed. A locavore is a person who strives to eat foods grown and produced within a one hundred-mile radius, though the actual distance is determined by what is realistic for you.

It’s not only about distance. It’s also about economics and sustainability. Foods on North American plates may travel thousands of miles from farm to fork. Shipping foods over long distances requires more fuel for transportation (consider the air pollution), while buying products close to home supports local farmers and ranchers, builds com- munity, and helps the local economy. Buying from local farmers allows them to experiment with new varieties of fruits and vegetables better suited to the climate and local environment. Building a local market for their meats allows ranchers to raise their animals in an environmentally sound way.

Buying locally ensures that foods will be fresher and more nutritious. Local produce doesn’t have   to stand up to the rigors of shipping. When grown nearby, melons are allowed more time to ripen on the vine, and corn tastes sweeter when picked the day you eat it. Compare a ripe tomato or a ripe peach found at a farmers’ market to those shipped

from far away. Does the flavor seem distant, or does it taste like home?

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