HOW TO EAT LOCAL
The most common sense way of stating this principle is: The shorter the distance that food travels from farm to table, the better. Simply consider the distance between you and your food sources (and we’re not talking supermarkets here—they’re vendors, not sources), and choose the closest producers. Get your eggs from a farm in your town rather than from a farm in the far reaches of your state, and vegetables from farms in your state rather than from farms two states over. If you live on the East Coast, Florida citrus is better than California citrus. If you live in the state of Washington, California is closer than Florida, but Florida is closer than Brazil, and so forth.
Eating locally doesn’t mean doing without. You don't have to give up coffee and tea, for example, which are popular the world over, though grown only in certain regions. But it does mean making choices when possible in favor of those foods produced nearest to where you live. Every time you purchase from the closest farmer, you strengthen the network of growers and businesses seeking to build and maintain a “foodshed” that is diverse, nutritious, sustainable, and secure.HOW TO BUY LOCAL IN WINTER
Out-of-season produce is an extravagance because it is so energy-intensive to transport it to your kitchen. It’s not just your drive to bring it home from the grocery store—think of all the traveling that produce has done to get to the store from whatever field or orchard it was grown in. But you still want to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, so in the winter, we should all try to eat frozen, dried, and bisphenol A (BPA)–free canned food, and food stored in local root cellars.
Eating frozen fruit and vegetables, especially from local producers and local root cellars, is your very best option during the winter months. Frozen foods retain much of their nutritional content, in addition to cutting energy costs in transportation. It takes much less energy to keep food frozen than it takes to ship food hundreds, even thousands, of miles and keep it fresh along the way. Dried and canned foods can also be nutritious options.
Excerpted from True Food by Annie B. Bond, Melissa Breyer, and Wendy Gordon. Copyright © 2009 by Annie B. Bond, Melissa Breyer, and Wendy Gordon. Excerpted by permission of National Geographic, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.