Since you’re here reading this blog during your valuable free time (or your company’s valuable work time), we’re going to go ahead and assume that you care about food…which is awesome. Caring about food, however, means more than simply knowing where the best restaurants are and what to do with ramps. No, even for those of us who aren’t necessarily ardent environmentalists, caring about having delicious and nutritious food means caring about where our food is coming from. That’s why we’re such huge fans of buying locally produced food whenever possible. Buying locally produced produce and meat not tastes better because it’s fresher, but also helps the local economy and reduces pollution, since the products have to travel much shorter distances. Although making a commitment to purchasing local foods may seem to narrow your options (it’s not like there are bananas and avocados growing around Boston, you know?), in fact, it can actually widen them by introducing you to new varieties of fruits and veggies (did you know that there are over 70 varieties of apples grown in Massachusetts?).
Although buying locally produced food can seem intimidatingly expensive and difficult, the folks over at Eat Local Challenge are taking this week to show that eating locally can be done without emptying your wallet. For the entire week, the site’s authors will be eating locally within the confines of what an average American spends on food each week ($68 for one person). If you’d like to join them, head over to the site and sign up. Although none of the Boston-area farmer’s markets (with the exception of the vaguely sketchy Haymarket) are open for at least another two weeks, if you’re interested in eating locally, you can check out a list of grocery stores with ample selections of local foods and find a Community Supported Agriculture farm near you. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources also has a wide array of resources to help with your epic quest, should you choose to undertake it.