Author Sarah Elton wants you to think global, eat local


First aired on Fresh Air (12/6/11)

Food, like fashion, is filled with trends, and right now the coolest thing to do is to be a locavore. Don't let the trendy term scare you. Being a locavore is pretty simple, according to author Sarah Elton: "It's about making choices that will help create a sustainable, local food system here."

Elton, who lives in Toronto, became passionate about sustainable food systems after noticing that a cookie her daughter received at a party had "made in China" stamped on the wrapper. "There was something about this piece of food that was made on the other side of the world and transported thousands of kilometres," Elton told Fresh Air guest host Karen Gordon in a recent interview. "This really highlighted for me the environmental cost of our food system."

Elton is a working mom with two small children and while she's passionate about the environment, she recognizes that not everyone has the time or the budget to commit to a stringent diet, whether it be local, organic, free-range and/or vegan. She also feels that hard rules around eating don't encourage a relationship with or understanding of the system that feeds you.

If you're worried that eating local means your options are limited, you're wrong. Farmers from coast to coast to coast are finding inventive ways to make sure Canadians have access to fresh, organic and varied produce year-round. Four-season farms, hydroponic gardens and full-service farmers' markets are a few of the inventive ways that food producers are providing delicious and diverse produce.

Visit a farmer's market, grow a garden in your backyard, buy organic produce, what you do is up to you. As long as you are making informed decisions and keeping the environment in mind, then you are a locavore.

Have you changed your eating habits to help the environment?

A Widows Story

Locavore: From Farmers' Fields to Rooftop Gardens — How Canadians are Changing the Way We Eat

Sarah Elton

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"Strawberries in January, fresh tomatoes year-round and New Zealand lamb at all times — these well-travelled foods have a carbon footprint the size of an SUV. But there is a burgeoning local food movement taking place in Canadian cities, farms and shops that is changing both the way we eat and the way we think about food. Locavore describes how foodies,100-milers, urbanites, farmers, gardeners and chefs across Canada are creating a new local food order that has the potential to fight climate change and feed us all. ..."

 Read more at HarperCollins Canada.

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