Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pledge to Eat Local for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and do you know where the food for your family feast is coming from? Hopefully, you have access to local foods and will be choosing meats and produce grown local to you.

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:

  • Ask friends, family and other groups you are associated with to take the pledge. Direct them to the Eat Local Thanksgiving website to learn more.

  • Talk to the manager at your local grocery store and ask them to carry more local produce, meats, dairy products, or other locally produced goods.

  • Write a letter to your city council, county council or state legislators to let them know that you support policies such as Farm to Institution (i.e. getting local food into school and hospital cafeterias).

    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.]

    Anonymous said...

    I try to eat local throughout the year ..... I love Farmers' Markets and support supermarkets with a strong "regional" focus. Good post, and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Sonja said...

    Our local food this year is the centerpiece. We helped our neighbors butcher this weekend, and as a thank you, they gave us the breast of one of the turkeys. The carrots, parsnips, onions and brussels sprouts will come from our garden, and the pumpkin for the pies as well. Our cranberries are from a neighboring town and the milk and cream will be from another neighbor. I can't vouch for what the other family is bringing though, lol.

    Panamamama said...

    Great! I love our local farmer's market- certified organic and all local. We can order ahead online and then pick up on Saturdays too which is nice. I was just debating ordering a turkey or big chicken for Thanksgiving because they cost a bit more than the ones at Kroger, but now I will!

    Tree Huggin Momma said...

    I would really love to, but this year my MIL is hosting and she thinks the whole organic/local movement is a joke.

    What I will be bringing will be localish. I will be bringing a salad (with local greens, tomatoes and onions), an apple salad (local apples, local/organic heavy cream, and walnuts (not local but they could be next year), and Cranberry relish - this requires Cranberries, which aren't local, but are from within the US and same for the orange peel in it).

    Next year I will host Thnx again and I will have a local heirloom turkey, local potatoes, local squash, local pumpkins, local apples, local greens, local turnips and leeks....

    Greenpa said...

    One barrier many people see is the cost. Fairly often, good local produce is a bit more expensive than the stuff on sale at The Big Icky Store.

    Oh, don't start! :-)

    I know perfectly well the local stuff is far better- and actually far CHEAPER - if you're counting real, total, costs. But- it's a perceived barrier, anyway.

    So- if it's any kind of a problem for you- try barter.

    Our experience here is that many more folks are very willing to barter. We just swapped something we have for some construction. That would have been awfully unlikely 3 or 4 years ago.

    You DO have something to offer- maybe even just your labor? A day's help with harvest next year? Or planting?

    Give it a try- it's working better all the time.

    Anonymous said...

    We've got our turkey from our organic meat CSA and a veggie share from our veggie CSA. We're good to go!!

    Glenn in Springfield MA

    Aimee said...

    I am hosting thanksgiving this year, so I have the power to choose. Luckily, I have the option of a pasture raised, heritage breed turkey from my neighbor down the street - but cheap it is NOT. At $5/pound, a medium sized turkey is going to cost me about $75, which I know is a totally out-of-the-question price for a lot of people. However, I decided to go for it because I have saved so much money on food all year long by using my trade network and producing most of my own food. I figure it's worth the splurge to support my neighbors, support the creation of a truly local food network, and feel good about what I am eating and serving to my guests. In addition to the turkey, local items include the apples for pie and homebrew cider, the pumpkin in the pie, and potatoes. Other items are local to me state but not my neighborhood.

    Robin said...

    I just ordered my local turkey today! It's from two towns over, and is costing $3.09 lb. Not too bad - I've seen some for $8 or $9! We're lucky that cost isn't too much of an issue - although my mother is happy to pay $.69 lb at the local grocery. I said, "Well, if a local place charges at least $3 lb, then just think about how the turkeys are raised if they're able to sell them for 69 cents" Just that idea of how they must be raised is enough to make me not want to eat one from the market.

    Robj98168 said...

    I found local parmesan (Bow, Washington, Breadsticks(Seattle), and Bacon (Burien) Now on to make my bacon wrapped, parmesan breadsticks. Also have all local ingredients for krum kake- a norwegian cookie, not unlike pizzeles, Flour (winthrop, WA) Cream and Eggs(kent and just south of yelm).

    Marimoy said...

    That really can't happen here. If we only ate local, I would eat a few pumpkins, some sugar cane, and bananas. While the local farmer do a good job, there is really a whole lot else I can do... ah island life.

    Wendy said...

    I was just talking about this subject on my blog today.

    A couple of years ago, my family participated in an "eat local Thanksgiving" challenge, and we had the usual Thanksgiving fare - all from local vendors (and we got our pictures in the paper - it was cool :).

    This year, I was thinking, wouldn't it be cool if we all went "local", but with food that was not only grown in our region, but which is naturally "local" to our region.

    For me, that would mean lobster (and at $3.99/lb it's as cheap as a locally grown turkey) and blueberry pie would be on the menu.

    Of course, I still have to convince my non-lobster eating hubby that skipping the turkey is a good plan ;).

    Anonymous said...

    I already had my local thanksgiving with friends and my delicious $68 turkey. My farmer's turkeys were growing too big, too fast and we will be at in-laws for the actual t-day. But that turkey made the most delicious stock as well. Because it was so big, at first I boiled up just the 'limb' bones, and put the body in the fridge. Then the next day, I made another stock from the body. It must have made 6 qts delicious stock. At $4/qt organic stock, I made a little money 'back'.