A question worth asking: To eat or not to eat locally | Local 20/20

Suzanne Jones and Sonja Hammar
Posted 8/25/21

We understand that eating locally is not always easy. It may not be as difficult as it sometimes seems, though. The Local 20/20 Local Food Action Group, along with the Salish Sea Transition Town Hub, …

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A question worth asking: To eat or not to eat locally | Local 20/20

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We understand that eating locally is not always easy. It may not be as difficult as it sometimes seems, though. The Local 20/20 Local Food Action Group, along with the Salish Sea Transition Town Hub, and the Eat Local First organization of the Olympic Peninsula are all promoting Eat Local! Campaigns this season to help make this point.

COVID was a perfect opportunity to show us how important it is to support local economy. Some of the things we depend on have been in short supply during the pandemic, including some food products. While there are challenges with eating locally, if we want a dependable local food system, we will have to try to support it.

Large-scale food production costs less but we may pay a high price with our health and the health of our local economy if we support only food that comes to us from far-away places (in fuel-driven trucks). For our communities to survive further health or climate crises, it would be advantageous to eat the healthy, organic food growing around us. 

In fact, Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder of the Local Futures organization believes that supporting a local food system is the most important thing to do as a community.

We have heard many local folks say that they are not able to afford what the local farms have to offer. We have a lot to choose from in Jefferson County, though. We know people who have chosen to eat only locally produced foods, but others choose to eat a mix of local and non-local foods. 

For example, what about purchasing berries that are abundant in summer and using them with your favorite pancake mix, in your favorite morning shake or freezing them to use during the winter.

The Transition Town Movement (created in 2006) promotes a return to smaller scale businesses, smaller scale farms, and a focus on family and community helping one another. Port Townsend is a Transition Town and members of Local 20/20 meet with the national movement regularly to learn more about how other towns around the world work to transition from a dependency on fossil fuels back to local sustainability. Eating locally is a common effort in many of these towns.

Those of us involved in the Eat Local! Campaign believe that improving our understanding of our local food system, and supporting it, is very important to our community. There are two more weeks in the campaign this growing season. Please check out our webpage at l2020.org/local-food/eat-local/  Community input on this project is most welcome, contact us at suzanne@l2020.org

(Suzanne Jones and Sonja Hammar both serve on the Local 20/20 Steering Council and are regenerating the Local Food Action Group. Sonja Hammar is interested in community resilience be it food, energy or preparedness. Suzanne Jones is an author on topics of Local Sustainability, Community Connection and Resilience.)

Comments

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katherine baril

One thing that the LEADER could do that would make it easier to Eat Local is have a day by day listing of what is open and what hours-- as a Local I notice that many businesses are choosing to be open only on Thurs-Sunday when the tourists are more likely to be in town.. . on Sunday- thursday- and actually all through the week it would encourage people to get out and buy if we had a one stop web site that would tell us what's open, the hours, and the menu and phone numbers- You'd probably be surprised at how hard that basic information is to obtain !!!!! help our locals market their information more effectively!!

Wednesday, August 25