PDP Exclusives by Rebecca

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Think Globally, Eat Locally - Becoming A Locavore


Jackie is a good friend to the Glitter Bitches and a budding author to boot, so she jumped at the chance to spread some of her musings to the masses here at Modern Rosies. She is a huge wealth of information in many arenas, and we look forward to many posts from her in the future!


Locavore. Say it out loud. Feel it roll off your tongue. It’s newer, like so many of the buzzwords you hear today are. The philosophy is ages old, though. It is the idea that one can exist solely on the diet that changes with the seasonally available foods in the region.

It’s more than just a philosophy these days, though. The socioeconomic and anthropological data piling in has shown that it also stimulates local economy, builds tighter communities, reduces crime, and helps our children to grow to be conscientious little people.

"All members of our society, irrespective of their socio-economic status, should have access to good quality produce." - Maritza Wellington Owens

I sat the other day at one of my seven local farmer’s markets and just observed. It continually leaves me awestruck to see the diversity in everything from the vendors to the customers to the produce and goods themselves. It’s in a constant state of metamorphosis as the seasons change, the students change, the farmers change, and the venues themselves change.

Farmers' Market in urban Chicago
Farmers markets are an anthropological goldmine. A prosperous people is a well-fed people. That is a lesson history has taught us over and over again, from the middens still being found two miles from my house to the middens found near King Solomon’s Temple Mount.

Biosocially speaking, the rediscovery of Farmer’s Markets and local produce is moving about in pandemic proportions, possibly fueled by the advent and establishment of social networking that is available to everyone, not just the wealthy and pretentious.

Socioeconomically, we have seen a similar shift across all of the socioeconomic classes. Inner city demographics are creating community gardens where the bounty is divided between the families contributing time and energy and local markets that help fund the next season’s re-planting, and the creation of more gardens.

In rural areas, the conspicuous lack of outsourcing for produce and product has created pockets of informal economy, fueled with the supply and demand of neighbors for neighbors, by neighbors. (Their farmed or produced goods, that is. Not the neighbors themselves. That would be cannibalism, and possibly signify an oncoming zombie plague.)

Affluent communities are moving AWAY from products marketed as gourmet, and realizing that the ingredients make the food, not the commercials. Community farmers can set up at markets located in areas primarily populated by mid to upper middle class and above, and feel confident that they will return home at the end of the day not with a vehicle full of produce (or meat, or honey, or jams/jellies/home canned goods, or baked goods, or fresh milks and dairy products, etc.) but rather a hefty deposit. Everyone involved can go home feeling satisfied on so many more levels than just a biological need for food.

London Community Gardens
(Image: Capital Growth)
Now, when explained in these ways, doesn’t it just make more sense? Or rather, it makes more cents!! The economic impacts tumble over into an infinite number of scenarios. Less cross-country or international transportation means less need for crude oil. Smaller scale farming means less of a demand for GMO’s that can be grown in bulk with resistance to pests that can be eradicated by some simple attention, care and forethought by the small farmer. Oh, but that takes away jobs, you say! NAY! If every industry farm was re-organized into a co-op of family farms, that would ensure that the number of employment opportunities remained, and may even open up more seasonal help positions.

On a biological level, eating seasonally has been shown in some studies to be a promising way to counteract our country’s war with obesity. I’ll avoid putting my lab coat on here, but will say this: Everything from buying the products to eating them has an impact on the human body. There’s vitamin D synthesis from walking the market in the sun. There is a release of neurochemicals and neurotransmitters, or “happy juice,” in the brain when you see a bright red natural tomato or taste a sweet melon straight from the vine. There is the nutritional value of your purchases themselves.

Say it again, my friends. Locavore. Actually, don’t just say it. Try it! visit www.localharvest.org to find a farmer’s market near you, or to find other means of acquiring seasonal and local products. I can guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


Jackie Monck hails from Florida where she is busy raising two kiddos, and runs MMC Designs, Farm and Kennels. You can also find her on Facebook.

14 comments:

  1. Very nice post with loads of good info, thank you for sharing!

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  2. Very interesting post! Thanks for sharing!

    As for the library tote...I'd totally tote around my Farmer's Market goodies, or mine and the kiddos books when we make it to the library for story times. :-)

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  3. Locavore! I love that, never heard it before. We love to go to the farmer's market. If i had BVG tote, I think i'd fill it with nummy fruit. the season is almost over but towards the end the Cherries, blueberries, boysenberries and nectarines are at their sweetest. then I think i'd like fresh peppers, onions, lettuce, beans. nom nom nom.

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  4. Ah..the farmers market! Love it! I absolutely LOVE the freshness of the produce and who can pass up those locally made soaps and lotions! I would definitely tote around the goodies (namely lotions and soaps) that you can get at the farmers market. When I feel I didn't need any more soaps or lotions (which is NEVER if you know me at all) I would definitely use the tote for my produce bag!

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  5. LOVE the term Locavore! Very informative post! I would fill a BVG tote with lots of fruits and veggies for my boys! They love fresh ANYTHING!

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  6. Great post! :) Would totally cram some fruits and veggies in my bvg tote!

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  7. I am excited that the farmer's market seems to be growing here each year. When I lived in the Seattle area, I wanted to join one of the co-ops for local, seasonal produced, but I moved before I had a chance.
    If I had a BVG tote, I would love to use it for trips to the library and to carry yummy produce from the market like apples and tomatoes.

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  8. This is such a brilliant post! Fresh and seasonal is the way to go!

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  9. What a great post. We have a local restaurant that tries to embrace the locavore way of being whenever possible. It's always nice to know the food your eating is helping someone local (and the quality is so much better too!)

    If I were to win- I'd fill this tote with whatever I could...northern MN doesn't have the greatest growing season so it's always hit or miss what you might find at the farmer's market

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  10. Thanks for the great post! I'd love to say I'd be using it for the farmers market- but it would most likey be used for carrying super hero action figures and juice boxes!

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  11. Local food is the best tasting food out there! We raised two dozen laying hens and every day are enjoying their eggs. We ventured into having a garden and although we didn't get around to planting much (tomatoes, various chile peppers, strawberries) because I'm expecting, we have truly enjoyed the fruits of our labors. I can't say enough about the quality of food that is grown locally. Tomatoes taste like tomatoes! Our chiles have that extra spice! Strawberries are plump, red, and juicy! Our chicken eggs are full of extra protein and have a hard shell to crack. (You haven't lived until you compare the strength of the store bought white eggshells to homegrown brown eggs.) Our fruit trees are slowly maturing and we harvested the world's best cherries. They were seriously the best because I am not a cherry fan and my son and I ate the small harvest we had this year. I just appreciate the food more because of the work that goes into tending it. Locally grown food just tastes how food was meant to taste. As to what I would tote around, it would be the eggs that we collect that we give to our close friends. And the tomatoes from our great bounty (I really need to get to make some homemade tomato sauce to freeze) that we take to my mother and coworkers. So, instead of toting around what I would buy at the local farmers market; I would tote around the food that may family grows to give to those around us.

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  12. Great article! During the summer/beginning of fall, I try to frequent Farmers' Markets.. Not just for the local veggies I don't grow in my garden, but there are other vendors.. Local honey treats, bath/body products just to name a few..

    If I were to be the lucky winner of a BVG Braniac Tote, I would use it to carry my current crochet project I'm working on when not visiting the Farmer's Market. (I am currently using one of the reusable grocery bags)

    Thank you for creating this blog.. it is informative and wonderful to be part of!

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  13. Fantastic article! The past couple years have been quite chaotic, but this spring I really hope to plant a small garden. I'm not sure how big I can go as it would just be me tending it... although maybe I could get the older neighborhood children to help out in exchange for veggies. I also really want to get an herb garden started. I need to do more research on local sources of other food items, and figure out how to afford them on our budget. Totally worth it, though, IMO!

    If I won the BVG tote, I would use it for... well, everything! Library books, farmer's market goodies, whatever my Sprouts are toting around.

    Thanks!

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  14. Great educational and informational read! I love farmers markets <3

    If I won the BVG tote, I would use it for hauling around coloring book and crafty things for the kiddo! Along with everything else I can use it for =)

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