I love harvest time. What more savory feast for the senses is there than a Saturday morning stroll through the local farmers market in September? Here in Boulder, Colo., I love gathering a basketful of Palisade peaches, pungent peppers, fresh-picked organic salad greens, and a big, sweet Rocky Ford cantaloupe (the melon equivalent of a vine-ripe heirloom tomato versus a pale January supermarket variety). And soon, I’ll add a jug of cloudy, fresh-pressed apple cider.
Why eat local?
When the flavors of local seasonal foods are so good, it makes no sense — especially ecologically — to buy produce that’s been flown in from thousands of miles away. I had that conversation with my 11-year-old daughter at the grocery store yesterday, when I opted not to buy the kiwis from Chile she wanted. And she got a lesson in how every bite we take can make a difference in helping to sustain our planet.
The pluses, for both the palate and the conscience, of eating locally are not limited to home, however. As more and more restaurants join the locavore movement, it’s now possible to focus on eating locally wherever you may be. In fact, sampling locally sourced cuisine is one of the greatest highlights of traveling, as far as I’m concerned.
Top 10 cities for local food
Recently the folks over at the Huffington Post assembled a list of the Ten Best U.S. Cities for Local Food, with links to restaurants that serve delectable ‘green’ regional fare. Readers get to contribute, too, sharing their own recommendations and voting for their favorites among the 10 contenders. As of this writing, New Orleans tops the list (I can concur with that!), followed by Portland, Ore.; San Francisco/Berkeley, Calif.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Seattle, Wash.; Denver, Colo.; New York, N.Y.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Minneapolis, M.N.; and Washington, D.C.
The response from readers was so great that the Huff Post editors put together a further list, Top Ten Undiscovered Cities for Local Food. For more resources to help you find restaurants serving sustainably produced local fare while you’re on the road, as well as farmers markets, check out the Eat Well Guide and Chef’s Collaborative.