Why is it important to eat locally? Well, I'll let the info from the Eat Local for Thanksgiving site explain a few things:
By making a choice to include more local foods into your diet you are taking an important step in support of a local food system that can feed your community while protecting the environment and building a vibrant local economy.
Research indicates that locally directed spending contributes as much as 2 - 3 times more to community income than spending at non-local businesses. At farmers markets, for example, for every dollar spent, 62 cents is re-spent locally. For every dollar spent at an average grocery store, 25 cents is re-spent locally compared with 52 cents at a locally-based grocery store.
The increase is even greater for locally-based restaurants. For every dollar spent at an average restaurant, 31 cents is re-spent locally compared with 79 cents for locally-based restaurants.
It's also been said that one of the best ways to keep farmland from being developed for commercial use is to expand demand for local-grown produce, creating a higher value for those lands as active farmland.
What more can you do about it? Well, you can join thousands of others who are willing to take the pledge to eat locally this Thanksgiving, even if it's only one item on your table that you choose to replace.
Taking the pledge is a good first step in helping to build a more vibrant and sustainable local food system for your region. There are many important issues that affect the availability of and access to local food. If you would like to get involved further here are a few things you can do to help the cause:
Also, don't forget that getting everyone together is a great time to explain to friends and family why you choose local foods. If you need some tips on what to discuss, check out these great discussion questions from the Eat Local for Thanksgiving site.
If you made it this far, what are you waiting for? Go take the pledge already!
[Please note: out of area pledges are not eligible for prizes upon entering. If you do not live in WA state, just enter your city, state in the city field.]