Wild rice Ardoch, Ontario 290 km
Tomato salsa Stoney Creek, Ontario 75 km
Green beans Branchton, Ontario 100 km
Eggplant Kawartha Lakes, Ontario 135 km
Trout Georgian Bay, Ontario 250 km
Total 850 km
The frenzy for ever-ripe food flown in from collosal farms thousands of kilometres away is feeding an earth emergency. It's time to embrace the seasons, heal the planet and fuel regional economies by becoming true locavores. Here's a guide to doing it right, plus tips on ensuring local edibles earn their green cred.
You have two choices for dinner tonight: one's been on polluting planes, trains and automobiles for 50,000 kilometres (see cover); the other was freshly picked and purchased from your local farmers' market this morning (see above). If you're still tempted by the endangered sea bass flown in from the tip of Chile or the Chinese snow peas (that can easily be grown in Canada), know that by reaching for plate number two instead, you're not just cutting back on food miles. You're also helping local farmers resist the temptation to sell their land to developers, you're avoiding the 'cardboard effect' of shipping unripe produce in refrigerated containers, you're supporting local economies, connecting to those who sow the land and sinking your teeth into tastier ingredients packed with extra vitamins, since they're fresh from the earth. But you need to know how to eat local right. Say no to energy vampires like hothouse tomatoes grown in carbon-heavy greenhouses mid-winter. Say yes to local farmers' markets and a louder yes to local organic farms. Sign up for shares in community-supported agriculture. Bug your grocery manager to stock local organic produce, and snatch it up when it arrives. Reach for heritage varieties. Eat in season. Eat well. And feel the love embedded in truly sustainable local grub.