Blog | February 12, 2009

The challenge of eating locally in winter

MattRemember last summer on your way home from the farmers’ market wanting to dig into all of your new, fresh, and delicious fruits and vegetables? I sure do—but it feels a world away in these cold months of winter in New England. During the summer months, I think, “Hey, eating locally can’t be so hard. Look at all the variety I can get!”—but then the cold and snowy reality of December and the rest of winter arrive to remind me that it takes real dedication to eat in-season and locally-grown foods.

Luckily, this great Boston Globe article provides some inspiration for me as I chow down on decidedly un-local (but oh-so-tasty) clementines. The author spoke with Boston-area residents that try to stick with local food even through these dark and cold months. How do they do it? Basically, they figure out as many ways as possible to eat lots of root vegetables (including those delivered from winter CSAs), load up the freezer with fruits and vegetables from the summer, and learn to can and jar food to capture summertime magic at its peak.

Probably the best message I got from the article is that it’s OK to slip up and not be rigid about having 100% local food. We all have our vices (whether they be coffee beans grown halfway across the planet or these tasty clementines), but any effort we make to improve our food, community, and agriculture locally can make a difference. 10% local is better than 0%, right?

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