Top 3 ways to get into local food | Not just for the foodies

Local Food

Food cooperatives are just one way to get local food easily. Image from TinyTall on Flickr.

Local food is one of the latest trends in cuisine, dining out and just eating well. Getting local food, however, can be intimidating if you usually just get food at the super-market. Local food reduces food miles, connects you to the source of what you are eating and, above all, usually tastes amazing. So what sources are there for local food that are as easy as pizza delivery?

1. Check out the farmer’s market

Just about every community across the United States is somewhat close to a farmer’s market. Check local websites, newspapers or radio stations. Early-season farmer’s markets are usually full of plant seedlings, amazing meats and root vegetables. There is also usually bread of some form or fashion — usually hand-baked and incredibly tasty. At a farmer’s market, you can choose exactly what you are going to buy and when, which makes planning your recipes very simple.

2. Look into Community Supported Agriculture

If you’re willing to put out a little money up front, a Community Supported Agriculture scheme could be for you. In a CSA service, you pay the farmer or cooperative early in the season, and you receive produce and farm goods throughout the growing season. You don’t usually get much choice about exactly what you are getting, but it is a great way to expand your horizons. Some CSAs will let you include or specifically exclude meats or milk products. If you can’t find a local farm that does CSA, check with a local grocery store.

3. Food cooperatives

If you’re willing to put a bit more work into your local food, then a cooperative could be for you. Food cooperatives, such as Bountiful Baskets pool members’ funds to purchase produce or food. Cooperatives or purchasing groups range from loosely organized groups of friends to sophisticated organizations. Usually, cooperatives are able to use collective purchasing power to get a very good price on the products they buy. This means you’ll get a lot of local food – for less than you’d pay at the grocery store.

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