Friday, February 20, 2009

Aspiring Locavore

Recently I was inspired by an article in a local paper about a woman who decided to eat only locally grown and produced foods. She had a few challenges and definitely made some drastic adjustments to her eating habits/diet, but overall it was worth her while.

I've been meaning to start eating local for a long time now. It's so convenient to stop at the grocery store on the way home (usually Publix), but they don't carry much locally grown or organic foods at all. The produce section has local strawberries, cherry and grape tomatoes, but everything else is imported from different countries or states (mostly California). It really bothers me because we have so many wonderful farms in Florida.

That means that my food travels approximately 2,743 miles (about 1 day 16 hours in driving time) to reach my table. How much am I paying to ship the food that far? That must mean that the food is harvested early so when it actually gets here it's about ripe and ready-to-eat.

Eating local is referenced as someone who is a "locavore" and finds all of their food within a about a 100 mile radius of their home.

According to Wikipedia:

A locavore is someone who eats food grown or produced locally or within a certain radius such as 50, 100, or 150 miles. The locavore movement encourages consumers to buy from farmers’ markets or even to produce their own food, with the argument that fresh, local products are more nutritious and taste better. Locally grown food is an environmentally friendly means of obtaining food, since supermarkets that import their food use more fossil fuels and non-renewable resources.

"Locavore" was coined by Jessica Prentice from the San Francisco Bay Area on the occasion of World Environment Day 2005 to describe and promote the practice of eating a diet consisting of food harvested from within an area most commonly bound by a 100 mile radius. "Localvore" is sometimes also used.

The New Oxford American Dictionary chose locavore, a person who seeks out locally produced food, as its word of the year 2007.[6] The local foods movement is gaining momentum as people discover that the best-tasting and most sustainable choices are foods that are fresh, seasonal, and grown close to home. Some locavores draw inspiration from the The 100-Mile Diet or from advocates of local eating like Barbara Kingsolver whose book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle chronicles her family's attempts to eat locally. Others just follow their taste buds to farmers' markets, community supported agriculture programs, and community gardens.

A study in the 2007 Dewey Health Review revealed that a Locavore diet (study included 100 individuals ages 18-55 eating local food grown within an 80 mile radius) resulted in a 19% increase in sturdiness of bowel movement and an overall drop in sleep apnea and night terrors.

So this "locavore" is a newer lifestyle that's better for you and the environment. Eating foods that are in season and produced locally (usually without chemicals/pesticides/etc) is better for the body, green and very GM.

My first goal is to actually GO to a local farmers market. We have several around the Tampa area.

My second goal is to get back into juicing. I was really doing it daily for a while and then just stopped. It will be more helpful for me to use produce that's in season too.

Local Farmer Markets in Tampa Bay:

Largo Harvest Marketplace
301 West Bay Drive @ Ulmer Park
Largo, FL
Thursday 9am - 2pm
Open November – April
Tanya Fazekas (727)587-6740 x5015

Safety Harbor Farmers Market
401 Main Street @ John Wilson Park
Safety Harbor, FL
Thursday 8am – 1:30pm
Open November – April
Bob Fernandez (727)461-7674

Longleaf Farmers Market
Starkey Blvd. and Town Ave
Thursday 3pm - 6pm
October 23 – through the end of May.
Brenda & Bret Tobey (727)234-0651

Dunedin Green Market
Pioneer Park - Main St & Douglas Ave
Dunedin, FL
Friday 8am - 1pm
Open October – April
Richard Kendler (727)-733-4215

Tampa Downtown Market
Lykes Park, 410 Franklin St
Tampa, FL
Friday 10am – 2pm
Tiffany Ferrecchia (813) 649-8747

Pinellas County Market in the Park
12500 Ulmerton Road (Pinellas Co Extension Service)
Largo, FL
Saturday 8am – 1pm
Richard Kendler 727-733-4215

Ybor City Fresh Market
8th Ave. and 18th St @ Centennial Park
Tampa, FL
Saturday 9am - 3pm
Open Year round
Lynn Schultz (813) 241-2442

Palm Harbor - Cross Roads Farmers Market
North Pinellas Historical Museum 2043 Curlew Road
Palm Harbor, FL
Sunday 8am to 2pm

Sweetwater Organic Farm - Sunday Market
6942 W Comanche Ave
Tampa, FL
Sunday Noon – 4pm

Urban Oasis Farm Fresh Market
5416 West Linebaugh Avenue, Tampa, FL 33624
813-293-FARM (3276)
Thursday & Friday 10am to 6pm
Saturday 10am to 4pm
Pick your own from the vine!
OpenYear round

St. Pete Saturday Morning Market
First Avenue South and First Street
Saturday 9am to 2pm
October - May

Sweetwater Organic Farm and Urban Oasis are both really close to my place. See... I have so many options to choose from. I'm going to wake up and go tomorrow!

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