Overall, eating locally was an amazing experience. I was so proud of myself once the week was over because I wasn’t sure if I had enough self-control to get through the week. Every single thing I ate was grown in the state of Vermont! I was aware of every morsel I put into my body because it was either raw or I had to cook it myself. There was definitely a difference in taste. Everything had a more intense flavor, especially the carrots. I was shocked the following week when I bought a regular bag of carrots at the supermarket and they tasted so bland. In the end it was a rewarding experience and the positives definitely outweighed the negatives.
I was amazed how great my body felt after a week of eating locally. I basically cleansed my body of all processed foods, as well as coffee, alcohol, and chocolate. By the end of the week, I unintentionally lost 2 pounds because of the dietary restrictions and healthier food options. As I reflected on my week of local eating, Delind’s article about the deep connection with place came to mind. I really did feel more connected to the land but more importantly; the land provided everything I needed for a balanced diet. By eating a local diet, I was able to get all of the necessary vitamins and minerals and was able to feel physically and mentally refreshed! In addition, I was never tempted to overeat because my food was high in protein and fiber and was exceptionally filling.
Weeks after completing this challenge, I am still incorporating local foods into my diet, just in a less extreme way. Although as we learned in class, eating locally impacts the environment and local economy in many great ways (see link below), the motivation for me is more for personal reasons such as taste and health. The eating local challenge actually made me appreciate globalization and the availability of imported foods and non-local household staples such as spices and baking soda. As a college student I have limited resources, but I will continue to opt for local produce whenever I can. Moderation is a key concept in my life and I will strive to buy local produce but won’t feel bad for indulging in global foods such as bananas, almonds, and chickpeas.
Do you want motivation to eat locally? Here are some great reasons to try it! http://www.lifebeginsat30.com/elc/2006/04/10_reasons_to_e.html