I recently went to a talk at the Mustard Seed, led by local foods advocate Marty Butts of Small Potatoes Sales and Marketing, a Syracuse-based company that “specializes in helping small scale food & body care producers from Central New York grow their businesses.” The talk focused both on the locavore movement and ideas for eating local in this community. While the majority of the businesses that Marty talked about are also based in Syracuse, the lack of really local info only inspired me to start poking around more up here in the Watertown/1000 Islands area (more on this later…). However, Marty was so kind as to email me his top tips for eating local in any community:
To become a locavore, keep it simple:
– Shop farmers markets if you have them.
– Find a single ingredient you can switch full time, diner ingredients are an easy place to start in any town and all year round.
– Shopping at an independent, local grocer helps too. especially if you ask questions.
It’s also good to set goals that you can quantify and actually do:
– As opposed to switching everything all at once, just switch your meat or dairy. Or potatoes.
– Try to source one meal a week. Some folks do taco night, do local night
Also growing and preserving:
– Grow one thing. herbs are easy to start with.
– Next time you plant or buy flowers, plant or buy something edible.
– Freeze stuff. i got a chest freezer for $100 and it’s filled with whatever local food i find a deal on. berries in season, meat when there’s a deal on it, pesto form basil in my garden, whole tomatoes, etc.
The last, and probably most important tip, is that you must COOK. Going local is not an option if you rely on other folks to cook for you. the internet is a treasure trove of easy to use recipes. so are the folks that are growing/producing the food.
Great tips – thanks, Marty!