If you read my Carbon Footprint blog yesterday, you learned that buying local food is beneficial to the planet because it reduces the carbon emissions produced during transportation. If you decide to be brave and watch Food Inc. you will also discover that buying local food could potentially save your life (or at least add a few years to your life span). Although Food Inc. is a documentary, it follows a plot line typically associated with horror flicks. From the evil empire producing genetically altered baby chicks that grow into grossly deformed chickens to the mysterious strains of bacteria causing life threatening illness in thousands of people, this movie was almost as scary as The Shining. Before the credits started to roll, I vowed to become a vegetarian and eat only local, organically grown food. Unfortunately, like most emotionally driven resolutions made in the heat of the moment, my commitment slowly waned as my memory of this terrifying movie diminished. My new, more attainable, goal is to break some of the most environmentally damaging and unhealthy practices I’ve developed over the course of my 32 years on this planet.
Fear of death or serious illness at the hands of factory food has probably been the greatest motivation to change my food habits, but I’m also fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends that are committed to sustainable and healthy eating. My cousin Chris, friend Janet and their team of entrepreneurial food lovers recently developed Farmers Market, an amazing resource for finding local, organically grown food. In a nutshell, the mission of Farmers Market is to make fresh, local food as common in the American kitchen as frozen pizza. To accomplish this goal, Farmers Market makes it as easy as typing in your five digit zip code to find locally grown food in your geographic area. In addition to guiding you to sustainable food sources, Farmers Market also provides delicious recipes. My personal favorites are written by my friend Katie who is witty and fun to read and provides pictures, ingredients and step by step cooking instructions that make it possible for even the most novice chefs, like me, to tackle her recipes.