One of the best and tastiest change you can make in your life to live a little simpler is by supporting local food systems. The packaging and transport of homogeneously grown food is largely responsible for our current economic and ecological predicament. To counteract this enormously wasteful system, we can purchase food from local farmers and producers. Farmer’s markets are a good place to start. A CSA share is another option - where you pay up front for a season’s worth of vegetables and fruits that get delivered on a weekly basis. CSA programs usually require a few hours of time helping out on the farm, which means you get to know your farmer face to face. Personally, I like the idea of knowing where and more importantly who my food comes from; it creates a moral connection and farmers are more likely to take care of their customers if they know them personally. Communities are built by each individuals’ economic habits and decisions. Economy and community can be integrated as a harmonious system, instead of separate parts of one’s life. Community is fostered when individuals choose to purchase food locally, or choose to support a local restaurant instead of a chain.
After reading Bill McKibben’s book Deep Economy, and reading about his “one year of eating local”, I came up with a personalized food plan that I felt I could practice in my own city, a plan which would support a local food system. I may not have all of the food resources that McKibben has in Vermont, but once I began to look, I found I could fulfill many of my food needs within a few miles! No more grocery stores for me! An added benefit is that when I buy things directly from the farmer or through my CSA, there is no packaging to dispose of (and the worms love the green scraps). Here is a guide to how you can create your own local food plan with your local resources.