About twelve years ago, a girl from Los Angeles came to live in Dryden, NY. She moved from a large metropolis to a small farming community to attend community college. Before coming to Dryden, she never saw a cow. In fact, she did not know that milk came from cows! She had no idea where milk came from. She went hog-wild in the country-side! She became a tourist of agriculture and met all the local farm animals and decided, actually, to become a vegetarian!
I thought that was so odd! I grew up in the country. In fact, a mad bull used to break out of the farm across the road and chase me into the house after getting off the school bus sometimes. Or, as we’d walk down the bend in the country road, we’d maa or baa to the goats and sheep grazing on grass just an eye shot down the road. I even worked a couple days on a farm and learned to milk a cow! So, to meet a person, so disconnected from animals and a simple fact (to me) that milk comes from cows, really perplexed me. In fact, it intrigued me. We were all intrigued. It was a bit exotic.
Is it exotic to understand the nature and composition of what you eat and how it nurtures your body? Oh, yes, very exotic. In fact, how many of us really know what we eat? With all the processed and prepackaged foods out there, do we really understand the impact of all this on our bodies, our health, our moods and emotions?
In order to understand this in a new way, an exotic way to most of us, there is a movement underway. The people in this movement call themselves locavores. You’ve probably heard of a herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, etc. But, have you heard of a localvore? What is a localvore?
Far as I understand it, a localvore, will acquire and eat a majority or all of their food from a certain mile radius of their home. There are many purposes of this. Some are:
1. To cut down on the use of fuel to transport vegetables, meats and other food stuff.
2. To cut down on the fossil fuels or energy used to process the food in factories.
3. To support local farmers.
4. To live closer to the earth by eating only what is available in your area in the growing season it’s available in.
5. To eat foods with more life in them- as the closer the foods are picked or processed from your home the more live energy or life force is in them (also taste).
What do I think about all this? I think it is as exotic as not knowing milk comes from cows! It is a simple idea, but yet complex for most of us to carry out. I heard about this today on the NPR show Living on Earth. A woman moved her and her family to Appalachia and decided to live off the land growing their own vegetables and raising their own livestock. A small percentage of their food was not local, but a majority was local. Just think of all the things you eat that come from farther than 150 miles away, for instance! What is on that list? How would your life be different without those foods, drinks, herbs, spices? How could it be richer with locally grown and in season foods? Would you consider experimenting being a localvore for a week, month or year? If so, share with us on this blog!
Resources for Localvores:
A Year of Eating Locally- from NPR show Living on Earth
More on What is a Localvore?- Mad River Valley Localvore Project
Localharvest.org- Find Farms near you selling organic products.
UV Localvores Blog- The economics of being local.
The Savvy Saver Invests in CSAs- Community Supported Agriculture.
A Thought for Food, Food For Thought. Vedic Views on Nourishment.
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Tags: localvore, locavore (Term officially changed to locavore from localvore after it has become an official word in the dictionary. Updated 2-2008.