People assume that because I consider myself a locavore that I eat 100% local food. Wrong. I hope to someday get to that place – but at this stage in my life that is not realistic. Right now, I eat about 70% local food and that bumps up to about 80% in the summer and fall when the farmers markets are in full swing. So what about that other 30%?
I do my best to be a conscious consumer whether it’s local or not. So here is what that looks like for me:
I probably buy 90% organic food.
I probably buy 90% organic food. I make sure that all my meats, dairy and produce are organic and the 10% of non-organic usually accounts for baked or packaged items. And I definitely do not buy anything with high fructose corn syrup.
No matter where you live there are seasonal foods, and across the country there are seasonal foods. When I’m not buying local, I still do my best to buy only what’s in season. So I never buy berries in winter because I know they are being flown in from who knows where and aren’t ripe, and I only buy oranges in the fall and winter when they are in season in Florida.
There are some things I love that I know I will never be able to get locally in TN like oranges, bananas, pineapple, avocado, grapes, cherries, lemons and limes. I don’t buy these items every time I go to the store, but occasionally I like to treat myself. I just make sure it’s organic and do my best to get those items from a place grown in America.
try to eat at an independent, locally owned restaurant
It’s true, Chris and I eat out a lot. We always try to eat at an independent, locally owned restaurant. And if possible, we always pick a restaurant that has some local food options on the menu. We are lucky that there are so many great places in Nashville that fit both of those criteria.
Overall, my goal is to be a conscious consumer of food. If you can’t eat 100% local, start somewhere and do it incrementally. Every step helps, and with each season you will become more of a locavore.