Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Change the World Wednesday - enjoy local foods



This current challenge for Change the World Wednesday will run for the next several weeks due to the busy holiday season.  The challenge is:

This month, find and enjoy local foods. Research what items are local in your area and then incorporate them into your family meals. Let us know (through a post or comments on this challenge) how you found local foods, which items are available in your area, and how you used them. 


I'm actually lucky, because this is rather easy for me.  Here in St. Louis we have a store and cafe called Local Harvest.  I actually happened across this company by accident.  Several weeks ago I had a hankering for some Imo's Pizza (local pizza company) and drove to the closest one on my lunch break. I happened to pass by Local Harvest on my way.  This is in an area that I don't normally hang out in since it's roughly 20 miles from what I call home.  However the sign intrigued me so I looked them up online and I'm so glad I did.  Confession time: I have to admit that I have not visited the grocery, but I do plan to. I love what they are about.  Confession time #2: The reason I haven't visited yet is because I'm lazy. It's cold outside and I don't want to go outside in the cold to get there on my lunch break. (yeah..I know...I need to just do it, because I know I would be happy if I did).


According to the Local Harvest website, here is what they are about:

We all love our food, but how well do we really know our food? Do you know where your food comes from, or how it was grown or processed? What do you know about the store where you buy your food?
At Local Harvest Grocery, we want to give you the information you need to be a knowledgeable diner, from start to “I’m finished.” After all, the story behind how your food is made and where it’s from is just as important as its nutritional information. We’ve found that the best way to get people to know their food is by providing it primarily from local sources. Our goal is that 50% of our products come from within 150 miles of St. Louis.
When you buy local, you know your food on three levels. First, you know that your food will be fresh because it’s picked at its ripest and doesn’t travel far. Second, you’ll know the food you buy helps support the community because we work closely with local farmers and ranchers. Finally, local foods require less fossil fuel to travel to your place, and we use recyclable materials and other sustainable methods to help reduce our waste.
It may not seem like much, but knowing your food means healthy, great tasting food for you and a stronger, greener environment for your community.
Thanks for supporting our independently owned and operated grocery store!


Here's some more info from their website, don't you just love facts? I know I do. So enjoy these:

Some Local Harvest Facts!
Amount we've paid to local farmers & ranchers since June, 2007
$512,808
Amount we've paid to local food & non-food artisans since June, 2007
$454,755
Donations made to area schools, community centers & non-profits by Local Harvest since June, 2007
$26,350
Amount of each dollar spent at Local Harvest that stays in the community
Over $.85
Tuesdays with LHG
Come shop on Tuesdays and, if you spend over $50 you will get $5 off your entire purchase!


Now you see why I want to start shopping there? 




What about you?  Do any of you have a similar store in your area? 


**UPDATE**
I just found out about this website (Thanks to Food, Inc posting about it on Facebook) and I just had to share.  Funny how I found out about it today, 12/15, after Reduce Footprints let's us know that the challenge is to find locally grown foods. 


Check out this website called Real Time Farms.   I entered my location, I used my zipcode. If you play around on it you can find different farmer's market in your area (for me it gave distanced based on zipcode as to how far from me it was). It also let me look at farms in my local area (which there aren't that many listed). I was able to click on the different farmer's markets and farms and get more info (although some wasn't available yet).   What a wonderful website!  I know I'll be checking out from now on.


***Yet another Update 12/29/10***
I had been familiar with Oberweis Dairy but had never read anything about them. However I recently decided to check out their website (because of this CTWW) and found that they are basically organic, although they don't mark their milk as being organic.   I'm mentioning Oberweis with this post because they could be considered local for me, with farms in IL.  They don't provide products in all states either, only those close enough to the farms for the items to be fresh.

Not only do I love the fact that they get their milk from local, family owned farms, but the farmers promise to not use artificial hormones.  It's also noted that the cows are treated humanly and the farmers know them by name.  Don't take my word for it, you can read about this on their website.

Another added bonus is that the milk comes in glass bottles.  The downside is that when you purchase the milk there is a $1.50 bottle deposit.  The plus side is that when you return the bottle you get your $1.50 back.     The grocery stores in my area carry this milk, but there is also an Oberweis store close to my house.  The milk is cheaper if I buy it from the store, it comes to $2.99 for a half-gallon.  That's still expensive, but cheaper than organic milk of the same size at the grocery store.  Plus, I like that the bottles are re-used.  That means less product either in the landfill or that gets recycled.

Also, the company will deliver milk (and other products) to your house!  How cool is that!  There is a delivery fee, so it's not something I'll participate in, but I love that it's an option.

Also, I'm happy to report that since reading about the company, I have switched to buying milk from the local Oberweis store.  I tried to do this for Husband's milk but he complained about the price, so I switched back to buying him the generic store brand from the grocery store.  However, as for me, the milk I drink is now exclusively the Oberweis brand.    I like knowing that I'm supporting a company like this.





4 comments:

  1. Wow! I love that they list how much they've spent on local produce ... which translates to helping local farmers and the local economy! Can't wait for you to start shopping there ... hope you'll report back with the goodies you find! :)

    I'm very lucky ... in Asheville, NC, "local" is very popular. We have CSAs, tailgate markets, and several grocery stores that sell local products ... at least one that sells local products exclusively. We also have Earth Fare, here, and they've recently posted their definition of local (within 100 miles of the store) on a big poster for the world to see.

    BTW ... I'm hanging on to your other change the world Wednesday suggestion for after the new year!

    Have a wonderful holiday!

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  2. I'm your newest follower from the Wednesday Blog Hops! Come check out my blog at: http://adventuresofathriftymommy.blogspot.com/

    Have a great day!

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  3. Reduce Footsteps - sounds like you live in a wonderful area! Where I'm at we are such a huge suburban city that those who live in the city and in some of the older suburbs closer to the city have farmers markets but those of us who live well outside that area don't have much or if we do, the hours aren't convenient. We have one farmers market close to my house by they are only open during the summer, one day during the week, and the closing hour is around 6:30. I don't make it home till close to 6pm so it's just not possible for me.

    BTW - I believe I updated my post after you stopped by, with a cool new website I came across. I'm going to put it in another comment on your blog though.

    Shanee - Thanks for stopping by! I've just visited your blog too.

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  4. Hi Kris - Happy New Year!! Sow, you've been busy in the last month. I love your updates and the changes you've made ... very cool!! And that link is great ... thanks for sharing it!

    "See" you tomorrow!

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