Eating locally, and teaching others about the importance of eating locally, is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I am a founder of the Locavores (the group who originally invented the word "Locavore" in May 2005), and began the Eat Local Challenge site. The site is a place where bloggers and other Eat Local Challenge participants can write about their experiences with eating locally. I'm proud that we have authors from all corners of the nation, and are adding new authors to represent even more geographic areas.
While the Eat Local Challenge was born out of the Bay Area, it has moved across the country and has been adopted by thousands of people nationwide. I often feel like a proud aunt watching the movement gather more and more momentum and gain recognition in traditional media and among the general public.
Each year, we host a month-long challenge focused on eating locally. The challenge has changed months yearly, as we want to try eating locally in different parts of the calendar. In 2005, the challenge was in August. In 2006, May. And this year, the challenge is in September. Much of the focus of the Eat Local Challenge site during September will be on canning, preserving, and putting food up for the winter. I am excited about this because I have never canned anything at home in my life. Already, several of us are talking about getting together for a canning party so that I can learn from some masters.
There are many ways that you can get involved in this year's Eat Local Challenge. You can participate in the traditional, month-long challenge via the Locavores website, you can commit to buying food from the farmers' market each week during September, or you can host a local foods potluck with your friends. Anything that will help you focus on where your food is coming from is a step in the right direction.
Here are some links to get you started:
16 Ways to Participate in the September 2007 Challenge.
10 Reasons to Eat Local.
Local Harvest will help you find local foods as will The Eatwell Guide.
Finally, follow the Eat Local Challenge site throughout September to read about the progress of participants around the nation.