No matter where you are in the nation, summertime is the perfect time to consider eating more locally grown food. It's good for your local economy, good for the environment, and good for your families. Besides all of that, it tastes great.
When I began the Eat Local Challenge in 2005, it never occurred to me that it would become such a part of today's conversation. At that point, it was just a few of us around the country banging the drum for the importance of supporting local farmers and artisans.
Then came the influx: the eat local movement has been discussed in virtually every major newspaper and magazine and continues to be a top discussion nationwide. I never thought I'd see Wal*Mart saying "buying local can be a great thing for the planet." While the proof will need to be in the pudding before I start shopping at Wal*Mart, it's still a very interesting and exciting feeling when large corporations start talking about eating locally.
If you're interested in brushing up on your eat local news, the New York Times has published an on-line, comprehensive guide which has an archive of all NY Times articles and links to many eat local discussions.
If you'd like to watch an Eat Local Challenge take place in a practical manner, the One Local Summer challenge is occurring as we speak. One Local Summer challenges folks around the nation to cook, and write about, one entirely local meal each week through the summer. It's been a joy to read along as people from all reaches of the country report about their local meals.
Each year, the Eat Local Challenge website hosts a month-long challenge which asks people to consider eating locally grown food for the month. The challenge can be what you make it -- either eating entirely local food, or just committing to shopping at a farmers market each week, or having a party with all local food at some point during the month.
For the first time publicly, I'd like to announce that this year's Eat Local Challenge will be in the month of October, and we are joining together with several local groups to bring you some interesting events and exciting on-line challenges during that month. I'm more excited for the Eat Local Challenge this year than any of the previous three years, and hope that you'll keep an eye on the Eat Local Challenge website in the upcoming months to find out how you can participate.