Sustainable Saturday - 10 Tips for Transitioning Your Family to Locally Grown Real Food

I've talked a lot about food lately.  Whether it be fresh produce from a Farmer's Market, growing a garden or food preservation, it's been primarily about food.

There are two reasons for that.  One is that I feel that in our home we have made many changes or transitions over the last 7+ years towards living a more sustainable life.  We have focused on green cleaning products, remodeling our home in a environmentally friendly and energy efficient way and making smart choices for personal care products.  We have for many years focused on eating locally, primarily during the Farmer's Market season, but have still purchased processed foods and purchased produce out of season from our local grocery store.

This year we have focused heavily on transitioning to primarily locally grown real foods.

Here are Saving Family Green's 10 Tips for Transitioning Your Family to Locally Grown Real Food:

1.  Stay out of the grocery store!  No, seriously.  Challenge yourself to only go to the grocery store once every two weeks or once a month.  Yes, you may need to purchase dairy primarily from a grocery store if you don't have a local farmer who can provide you with fresh eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt.  Staying out of the store should greatly reduce the amount of processed food you purchase.

2.  When you do visit the grocery store, buy produce in season at the grocery store.  For example, resist buying strawberries in January because you are guaranteed that they are from a far away place and asparagus in July.

3.  Read labels.  Do you know how many processed food items contain high fructose corn syrup?

4.  Buy produce, meat and dairy from a local Farmer's Market.  You can find one local to your area by visiting Local Harvest.

5.  Grow a garden.

6.  Find a local produce auction.  I have written before about produce auctions.  What better way to create a Real Food stockpile for your family!

7.  Preserve food for the months when you cannot either grow a garden, shop at a local Farmer's Market or Produce Auction.

8.  Cook simple meals with local and fresh meat, vegetables and fruit.  There is nothing wrong with something simple and even better if it doesn't contain canned soup or vegetables.

9.  Find a local source for baking supplies.  In Ohio there are quite a few Amish Bulk Foods stores which have primarily baking supplies.

10.  Bake your own bread.  (This is on my list of things to do.)  We currently buy bread from the store that does not contain high-fructose corn syrup.

Note:  Some of the links referenced in this post are my referral links.  You can read Saving Family Green's Material Connection Disclosure Policy here.

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