Are you familiar with the term “locavore”? From dictionary.com:
loh-kuh-vawra person who makes an effort to eat food that is grown, raised, or produced locally, usually within 100 miles of home.
I think this is a great definition, and a great practice. While some definitions indicate a diet solely made up of local items (who can do that?), or mostly from local items (much more manageable), I think the proof in the pudding is “intent”.
I try to source local ingredients whenever I can. Sure, its sometimes less convenient than stopping at your local Winn-Dixie or Publix, but the benefits are immense. First, local ingredients are almost always fresher than your garden variety grocery store equivalent. Second, in some cases local ingredients are more nutritious. Third, it feels GREAT to frequent local farms, farm stands and the like.
Its not always easy to find purveyors of what you’re looking for. But seeking out local items can be a lot of fun. To me, being a locavore of sorts is very important to suburban foraging. In Martin County there are very few farmers or ranchers from which to source local vegetables, dairy or meat. But there are numerous farm stands to visit (I’ve written before about Palm City Farms Produce, for one), which I always get a kick out of.
My fresh dairy supplier is Animal House farm/ranch in Loxahatchee (about an hour’s drive each way). For vegetables, I use the Stuart Green Market on Sundays. Same for great French cheese (when I don’t make it myself). For bread I like Importico’s Bakery Café.
It feels great to support these local small producers. The purveyors always seem very appreciative, and these purchases help support a sustainable society.
I’d love to hear your foraging and locavore-itious adventures, and your favorite suppliers. Feel free to comment liberally.
The Suburban Forager