Stewardship of Life

Becoming More of a Localvore

Posted in Just Living by Sharron R. Lucas on April 1, 2010

Even in rural North Dakota, the local foods initiative is making strong strides.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a localvore is “one who eats foods grown locally whenever possible.” A worthy goal indeed! When I lived in North Dakota this was more of a challenge. The long winters, short growing season, and my lack of a freezer made it difficult to eat locally-grown foods year-round. Because of our relatively isolated location, there were no organic grocery stores, although I will say that local grocers Tracy’s Market in Maddock and Miller’s Fine Foods in New Rockford did a great job of trying to respond to customers’ requests for local produce, eggs, and meat whenever such items were available. Our small town even started its own farmers’ market, open every Saturday from late summer to mid-fall and featuring vegetables and fruit from the area along with homemade baked goods, eggs, and preserves. I’m going to miss those chilly mornings with a steaming cup of Collin’s coffee,  Stan and Marilynn’s raspberries, Emily’s buns, and local produce from young farmers Joanna and Sandra Larson, Dylan Rue, and Preston Gilderhus. Of course, a good portion of the fun was simply getting to hang out with friends and enjoy some good conversation.

Greenlife Grocery

Now, however, I’m in a much better location for living the localvore’s lifestyle. The growing season is considerably longer, and there are quite a few organic farms in the area. There’s also Greenlife, a local grocery that specializes in “natural, organic, bulk, fair trade and local products as well as offering the finest selection of organic produce, meats and dairy products available in the area.” It’s a food-lover’s paradise. They also have an amazing deli, sushi bar, gelato, and plenty of space to dine in (along with free WiFi).

Yum! Some of the beautiful breads available at Niedlov's, a locally owned and operated bakery.

Yesterday, I visited Niedlov’s Bakery, home of artisan organic breads. The loaf I chose is made entirely from stoneground whole wheat flour. Yes, a loaf is $5.99. That’s a lot of money on my budget, but there’s no HFCS in it, no ingredients that sound like they were conjured in a science lab, and the purchase supports a local business. Oh, and it tastes delicious—nutty, dense, and slightly sweet. Actually, because I had a buy-one-get-one-free coupon, the price was less per loaf than what I’d normally buy at the store.

Site of the Chattanooga Market

Finally, there’s the Chattanooga Market, a great local farmers’ market that’s open twice weekly. They even offer cooking classes, music, and activities for the entire family. I’m looking forward to visiting the market when it opens late April.

I’m excited about the possibilities of becoming more of a localvore, of knowing about the source of our food, and about supporting the local economy. It would still be much easier to pick up a Little Caesar’s or Dominos Pizza and shop at any one of several chain groceries and/or big box stores. It would certainly be easier on my paltry pocketbook, too; however, the cost in terms of justice and potential health complications would be much greater, I’m afraid.

I’ll be balancing both sides of the scale in future weeks, as I learn the ins and outs of my new home and the local/regional food options that are available. I won’t be able to have a garden—my apartment patio doesn’t have space or adequate light, but I do hope to find a way to get 75% of my food from sources in the tri-state area and/or from locally-owned and operated businesses. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

How about you? What do you think about the localvore movement? Is it a help or annoyance when it comes to just living? Are you trying it or do you plan to do so?

2 Responses to 'Becoming More of a Localvore'

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  1. Marsha Stone said,

    A great article about Locavore. I live in De and have the advantage of numerous local sources. Very close to Amish country near Lancaster PA. There are numerous local sources to support this lifestyle. My assumption is the wonderful bread company is in Chattanooga. Thank you for this article

    • Hi, Marsha. Glad you liked the article! We who live close to many local options are indeed fortunate. Thankfully, the concept of supporting local economies, the slow food movement, and the notion of considering what we eat and from whence it comes are spreading and gaining ground. One very important result is that we’re getting to know our neighbors again! Community and connectedness are once again valued.

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