Why Local?

Why buy local?

Where, exactly, does your food come from? It’s an important question that we seldom ask. But, in some cases, when our food arrives on our plate it’s traveled farther than some Americans will in their entire lifetime. With current concerns about carbon footprints, the price of fuel, and the ethical treatment of workers across the world, it makes more and more sense to turn local.

Recently, there has been a significant push to “eat local, buy local, be local”. But it can often be confusing– what is considered local? Is it too expensive? How can you tell when a product is local? Does it really help your community, or is it just something talked about too much in the media? Hopefully this site can help answer some of these questions, and direct you to important resources.

This website focuses on the state of Maine, and what local foods are available there. For more information on buying local, how to do it, and local movements in other states, please see the Resources page.

Maine’s main agricultural crop is potatoes¹. However, Maine is also an important producer of corn, soy beans, apples, and berries, among other crops. While most of Maine’s agricultural industry is for the commercial food business, many farmers also grow for personal consumption and farmer’s markets. This blog will focus on providing recipes for potatoes, corn, soy beans, apples, and berries. If you’re looking for other recipes applicable to local foods, check out the Resources page!

‘Local Food’ doesn’t have a set definition, unlike Organic Food which must meet various regulations and requirements. The definition of Local Food can change from person to person, community to community, and site to site. For the purposes of this website, however, we will define local food as food that is produced as close to home as possible. For some this will mean next door, while for others it will mean within the same state. While Local will be easier for some than others, what is important is that the consideration is there. The first step to eating local is thinking local.

It’s often very hard to go cold-turkey local. Many foods aren’t grown locally, while others will vary depending on the season. That’s why many people find it easier to try eating one thing locally. Try starting with something simple, like potatoes. Learn where to get them (look for local farmer’s markets, talk to your grocers, think outside the super-chains!), and learn what to look for. Once you build this knowledge, applying it to other foods becomes a lot easier!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy Food, Local, Maine!

¹ http://www.maine.gov/portal/business/agriculture.html

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