Saturday, December 02, 2006

Eat Like You Live Here: December

It's hard to believe that we're into that final month of the year and the mad rush of the holiday season. Before you know it, it will be 2007, and our year-long local-eating challenge will be over.

But will it?

Over the course of this year, I've heard from a number of you, either in the comments or in a private email, about some of the terrific things you've discovered in your efforts to eat more locally-produced foods. Between your amazing finds at the farmers' market, your visits to local farms, or your experiences with delightful Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, it sounds like you've all found ways to make deeper connections to your communities through food.

Isn't that wonderful? I'm even a little jealous of some of you, despite the abundance of good local foods in my area, because your farmers' markets run longer or your CSA provides you food earlier and later than I can find here.

I even hope that as I've shared more from my readings or thoughts, you, too, have learned something new about our agricultural system and how we can improve what we eat and how we live by giving more attention to our food. And maybe, just maybe, you've gotten excited about it, like me, and have shared what you've learned with other people.

Did you make an entirely local meal and share it with your loved ones? Did you find, as Michael Pollan did in The Omnivore's Dilemma, that "Eating's not a bad way to get to know a place" (p.408)? Do you find yourself saying, as Mr. Nice Guy now often does, "Local tastes gooooood"?

Do you think you'll try to do even more to support local food production in the coming year? When all is said and done, that has been my ultimate goal with this challenge: to show that not only is celebrating local food a great thing to do for your community, your health, and your world, but it becomes easier and more of a joy the more you attend to what you're eating.

So here's your challenge for December: Think of ways you can build upon this year's challenge and enjoy even more local food in the coming year. And think about how you can persuade others to join you in your pursuit of fresh, seasonal, local produce.

It's a time to celebrate, so why not celebrate with local food?

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