I have been trying hard to eat local foods as much as I can. I have come to realize that it isn’t as easy as I thought it was! Diane Welland has put together a very useful resource for anyone trying to eat a little bit closer to home. The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Eating Local is chock full of so much information your head will be swimming by the time you finish reading it! I highly recommend this book and you should also check out my post on how to support local farmers to encourage them to keep growing food close to home. If you enjoy drinking raw milk, local farmers are a must!
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Subtitle: Enjoy Fresher, healthier foods, and help the environment
Author: Diane A. Welland, M.S., R. D.
Publisher: Alpha (May 3, 2011)
Pages: 336 (paperback)
Eating Local Review:
From the Publisher:
There are so many great reasons to shop for and eat locally grown or raised foods, including freshness, taste, energy conservation, and supporting small business owners. That is why tens of thousands have made the switch to local foods. Now families and communities are enthusiastically supporting farmer’s markets, artisan dairy farmers, cheese makers, family farms, local vineyards, and local livestock. Food expert and nutritionist Diane A. Welland explains what local eating is and isn’t and how anyone can move toward a more sustainable way of eating
What Does Eating Local Mean?
At the beginning of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Local, the author takes a moment to define what ‘local; really means and assures the reader that everyone has their own opinions here. I like that she stresses the closer the better, not that you HAVE to find foods withing a certain radius. She also gives a lot of compelling reasons why you should make this choice….everything from building a community and preserving the planet to preserving food traditions in your region and learning how to cook more creatively.
Issues Surrounding Local Eating
I love that the book discusses not only fruits and veggies but also meat, milk, eggs, etc. She touches on the cost issue…yes it is more expensive sometimes to eat local. She briefly touches on the federal government’s subsidies that help make cheap feedlot meat available. It is great that she tries to educate the reader on this topic!
Welland writes about gardening in detail since nothing is more local than your own backyard! Tips, techniques, and my favorite section: Preserving! She discusses ways to can, dry, freeze, and pickle all the local and in season goodies you find so you can enjoy them all year round without shipping them from far away! I also loved the section on wildcrafting and learned a new term: Urban Gleaning! I had never heard that before!
How to Find Local Foods
There are lots of tips in this book about how to find local foods. There are sections of farmer’s markets, pick your own farms, CSAs, community gardens, food co-ops and so many more sources of local food that you will wonder why everyone isn’t already eating locally all the time. In the back of the book there is a glossary and resource section, as well as a region by region guide to local foods.
Each chapter has a brief summary in list form called ‘The Least You Need To Know’. Don’t have time to read the whole chapter….just hit the highlights! There are also random tidbits of useful information on almost every page…local lingo, native knowledge and tons of other useful facts!
Overall, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Local is an amazing resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about eating local foods!
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.