Eating Local Challenge – the end…..?

During my month-long challenge to eat local foods, I definitely learned a lot.

1. The food tastes better – nothing truly compares to eating foods fresh from the garden/orchard.

2. I needed to really think ahead so that I wasn’t running all over tarnation. (read my post at Simple Homemade for some tips on buying local without driving all over)

3. It’s about a million times harder to meal plan – not knowing exactly what I was going to be able to find at the farmers markets was tough. I had to start thinking as I shopped, sometimes walking through the rows and then sitting with my pen and paper before I made my purchases.

4. I really had to keep my budget in mind – it was so easy to begin buying specialty items at the farmers market and then I’d find out I should have bought more produce instead.

5. Eating seasonally just feels….right. Even over the course of just 30 days, the produce that shows up at the market (and in my garden) has changed. Because of this, the nutrients we’re consuming are changing as well. Giving us what our body needs at this specific time.

eat local

I spent the month of August going to farmers markets for produce and meat, calling local farmers so that I could buy meat from them, and trying to find sources for pantry staples.

The really hard part was the pantry staples, so I mostly decided to buy as little as possible and only from family run/locally run small stores.

Late last week I finally stepped foot into a local supermarket as well as Costco. And can I admit something?

It is soooo much easier! I didn’t have to think about the many places I needed to go and I could get everything on my list in one fell swoop.

But I also realized that there was less there that I wanted to buy. I picked up the lettuce, grabbed some fruit, and pull chips off the shelves, and all I could think was “I could find better stuff (and pay less) at the farmers market”. I did end up buying a few things (because our farmers stands now don’t have near as much produce at them), and it’s hard not to notice the lack of flavor.

I’m really glad I took this challenge for our family – how did you do?

For us, moving forward, we still plan on buying as much local food as possible, especially dairy, meat, and produce (for as long as we can buy fresh produce here in MI).

Donielle Baker

Donielle Baker

owner and editor of Natural Fertility and Wellness at Natural Fertility and Wellness
Donielle believes women can learn how to heal their bodies & balance their hormones through natural methods. An advocate for natural health, she has a passion for nourishing/real food nutrition and natural living. Her personal background includes both infertility and miscarriage and she started Natural Fertility and Wellness in 2008 in order to share all of the information she found helpful in her journey to heal from PCOS and overcome infertility.
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
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  1. says

    One of the things I’ve learned over the past few years of trying to eat locally is that it doesn’t have to be a 100% or nothing proposition. I’m perfectly fine with putting homegrown heirloom tomatoes, Creswick bacon, and homegrown lettuce on Ezekiel bread with Hellmanns to make my BLTs. Also the West Michigan Co-op makes it much easier to plan since you can pick up a lot at time.

  2. says

    I didn’t take this challenge with you, but I have enjoyed eating locally. I ate tons of blueberries in July (which we picked), then I ate tons of peaches in early August (I bought a whole peck just to eat!). Now I’m enjoying tomato sauce made from local tomatoes, and also early apples. The kids are loving the applesauce especially. I’m hoping for some grapes soon! We also buy nearly all our meat from a local butcher. It’s mostly our pantry staples that aren’t local. We’re really enjoying all the awesome seasonal flavors, though!