Even If It’s Not All Local, Your Few Purchases Aren’t Futile

The switch to eating only local food is daunting. It’s easy to source vegetables from your local farmer’s market in the summer time, but in the winter months the only options available seem to be trucked in from California or Mexico.

When the “powers that be” are actively working against you, how do you stick to your guns and eat nutritionally dense, fresh, local food?

Stock pot with chicken and vegetables  ready to make soup.

The quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” is a bit overused these days; although it’s hard to ignore the wisdom. For those reading this blog, I’m going to assume that your ideal world includes some of the following:

  • Pasture based animals, eating their natural diet.
  • Land that’s free of chemicals.
  • Waterways that are not channelized, fed by pipes, or otherwise manipulated by man.
  • A happy farmer that you know personally.
  • Food that is grown within an hour of your home.

This is the world I also hope for, which is why I started farming! The problem is that I can’t fill out an entire well-balance diet shopping only local… Especially in the winter months of Minnesota!

I was recently discussing this very topic with a customer, how even in a meal made with hamburger I raised and vegetables from the garden, the flavoring would be quite bland without peppercorns shipped from India… I mean think about it, even the pioneers needed salt from the ocean!

Plate of brussel sprouts, eggs, bacon, with a side of coffee.

Because the battle to source healthy food from your community is so difficult, I’ve come to believe that every single purchase counts. If the option to buy beef (or dairy ) from a local farmer is available, take it! But if a recipe requires fresh tomatoes and it’s January, you have to do what you have to do… The Weston A. Price Foundation created a “50-50 pledge.” Meaning, keep 50% of your food budget within the community.

It’s important to remember that (and here’s another overused quote), “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Maybe 50% is a bit much to start, but the switch to eating more locally sourced food is not futile. Take one step at a time, build connections with local folks, and don’t throw in the towel when the going get’s tough… Even this farmer falters and buys a cellophane wrapped frozen pizza from time to time!

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This post was written by Annie Schmitz November, 2021.

Annie stands petting Jersey Girl in cold weather.

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