Monday, October 4, 2010

Eat Local: Ohio Challenge

I recently wrote a post for Technorati about The Eat Local Challenge, which was kicked off by Local Matters on October first. This is their noble, and tempting, movement to motivate citizens to eat locally-grown food, based on the idea that it's healthier for you than the alternatives and will help the local economy. I agree with both points, and I totally wanted to take part in the challenge (I've failed at doing it by myself earlier this year), but I live in northern Ohio, and they're based out of central Ohio. I wasn't able to sign up for the challenge (or prizes) in person, but I decided to follow the challenge's guidelines on my own up here.

The challenge is simple: select three or more ways to eat local this month. Some are obvious (try an Ohio-grown food), but you can visit a farmers market, eat at a "locally-minded restaurant", cook a full meal with only local ingredients, host a local food potluck, etc...

I went the easy route and bought those locally-grown apples and pears up there. Needless to say, they're gone. They tasted like typical apples, delicious and mild, but honestly, there wasn't a noticeable flavor improvement. I was expecting something orgasmic, based on the way local food proponents talk about local produce. Not so much this time, but it won't deter me from following through with the challenge. The point to eating locally isn't just flavor, but additional nutrition (and, if you read that link to the Harvard site above, you'll know I'm right) and community support.

There are some pretty neat food items on the shelves of Oberlin's local market. I'm looking forward to experimenting with them this month, so you're going to be seeing them, as well!

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