By Nick ChehadeEdit
Eating locally is great way to work towards a more sustainable Earth. Many people do not argue with the benefits of local eating, however, it is often regarded as a daunting and inconvenient task. But eating locally can be just as easy as shopping at your local Giant Eagle.
Easy Steps to Eating LocallyEdit
Farmer’s Markets stock their food with produce grown by local businesses. Not only does buying from a local Farmer’s Market cut down on food travels, but it also helps stimulate the local economy by fueling residential businesses. Many people have the mistaken idea that Farmer’s Markets only sell produce, which is not the case. Many Farmer’s Markets offer dairy products, meat, poultry, bread, and even eggs. The North Market, located at 59 Spruce Street, offers all of this and more, including cooking classes (North Market, 2014). It is a mere fifteen minute bus ride from The Ohio State University and is a great place to stock up on snacks for late night studying.
Another great way to eat food locally is to join a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA). People who join a CSA essentially buy a share in the farm's produce, and this share will provide you with a local box of produce each week. Some CSAs ship the box straight to members, while other will offer pickup sites for the package. Martineau’s posting on localharvest.com states that Bergefurd’s Farm Market and Greenhouse offers a 20 week share from June to October for $550, which is $27.50 a week (Martineau, 2013).
The cost may seem like a lot, but according to the annual USDA report, the average individual spends about $50 a week on groceries (USDA, 2013). Though Bergefurd’s cannot offer delivery, they offer the Pearl Alley’s Farmer’s Market as pick up spot (twenty minute bus ride from campus). Why not kill two birds with one stone and get your meat and dairy at the Farmer’s Market after picking up your CSA package? This weekly box of small fruits, melons, and vegetables is much better alternative to costly groceries and it’s cheaper!
Most people don’t even consider the idea of growing their own foods. It is often considered to be impractical to grow your own food,but it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Simple vegetables such as corn, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, and blueberries can all be grown in a home garden, all it takes is patience and care. A simple three by five plot of soil can suffice for a garden.
If fruits and vegetables aren’t your thing, you can always raise livestock. This may sound incredibly irrational, however, it doesn’t have to be. Infographic claims that it does not take as much yard to live off the land as one may think (Llorens, 2011). If zoning laws permit, three pigs can yield a year of meat for only 207 square feet and a fence. Thirteen hens can provide 1,000 eggs for a mere 65 square feet. And you can get your diary from two goats for only 100 square feet. The important thing here is to check zoning laws before implementing any of these decisions. But, considering that the average American owns a backyard with 14,520 square feet, founded by Projetevergreen, the room sacrificed for livestock should not be inconveniencing (Projetevergreen, 1998). Growing your own food can be incredibly advantageous and convenient once you get started.
I don’t have a yard to grow my own food and/or livestock.
Most communities offer communal gardens in which you can apply for your own plot of land and grow produce for your use. The Franklin Community Gardens offer two separate locations to do this: Mound Street and Gantz Road.
I don’t have enough money to buy food locally.
It is true that you cannot buy a local ready-to-eat dish cheaper than at the local Walmart. However, buying the natural, fresh components for a ready-to-eat dish are much cheaper than satisfying the instant gratification of microwaving ready-made lasagna.
I don’t know how to start
In summary, this article is a great resource to use in order to start your local eating habits. If you take just a few steps towards eating locally from this article, you are on your way to a better economy and environment, locally and globally.
Managing your own garden: http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow
Living sustainably: No Impact Man by Colin Beavan
Llorens,D. (2011, January 04). Infographic: How Big a Backyard Would You Need to Live Off the Land? One
Block Off the Grid. Retrieved from http://1bog.org/blog/live-off-the-land-2/
Martineau, M. (2012, February 21). Bergefurds Farm Market and Greenhouses. LocalHarvest. Retrieved
North Market. (2014). 35 Distinct Personalities.1 Incredible Place. North Market. Retrieved from
Projetevergreen. (1998). How much do you spend on your lawn? Facts about Lawns and Lawncare Costs.
USDA. (2013, July). USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food Cost of Food at Home. USDA Food Plans: Cost of
Food Cost of Food at Home. Retrieved from http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/ USDAFoodCost-Home.html