"Paula, as into natural things as you are, I can't believe you're making that choice." Someone said this to me recently, and I found it incredibly disturbing. So, I wanted to share my perspective on local eating and all things natural, because it's unfair to be held to some kind of standard I never asked to be held to.
The way I see it, the more local food choices we all make, the more money stays in our local economy. Does this mean everything I eat is locally sourced - no. Sometimes it's because of time restraints, sometimes it's because I just want Girl Scout cookies for dessert, and sometimes it's because I'm just lazy or cheap. But, our families purchases and intake of locally sourced items has grown over the last year, and I am certain this makes an impact on our area's economy and growers.
As Diana Endicott of Good Natured Family Farms near Kansas City says in "Fresh, The Movie," if everyone would spend just $10 locally each week, that would make a huge impact. While ten dollars a week doesn't sound like much, in our household of two (now three) that adds up to $80 a month spent locally. If we spend that amount at the farmers' market on fresh foods, investing in a local farm, rather than spending it at the big box store on tomatoes that come from California, think about the impact that makes on our local economy and environment. And that's just two of us.
Now, add all the readers of this blog and we've made a huge impact in Wichita. Wow. So, don't feel bad if you only purchase a few things locally, at least you're doing that! And, you can always work to add something else next season, as we're doing this year with the addition of tomatillos in our garden (granted, these aren't purchased but grown). Fresh, local salsa here we come, and, Girl Scout Cookies...I will always love you too!