Why Eat Local? Enjoying Local Abundance

How spoiled we are when we truly look at the abundance God has provided us within our own communities! Why should I buy food that has traveled thousands of miles at times, when an abundance is available in my own vicinity simply through doing a little research. The more I reflect on enjoying and supporting local agriculture the more I realize that eating locally is the way to go!


1. Buying locally provides you with the freshest food and ingredients

Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from other states or countries. Local farmers can offer produce varieties bred for taste and freshness rather than for shipping and long shelf life. The average food travels 1,300 miles from farm to table! That means it needs a lot of preservatives and added chemicals to make it last! Refining and processing allow these products to store for months. Supermarket food often travels seven to fourteen days before arriving in your local supermarket.

2. Buying locally is beneficial for the environment

Local food doesn’t have to travel far. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions and packing materials. When you buy local food, you vote with your food dollar. This ensures that family farms in your community will continue to thrive and that healthy, flavorful, plentiful food will be available for future generations. This is another small way we can be good stewards of the world around us!

3. Buying locally is often cheaper

Buying according to the what is in season is definitely cheaper! It doesn’t have to travel very far to your table and thus doesn’t have all those additional costs for transportation and perservation.

4. Buying locally is so much fun!

Getting to know farmers in the area is quite enjoyable! It is refreshing to know where your food is coming from, knowing how farmers go about producing their goods, and to get to knows them in the process is a great joy.


Now is the season for summer abundance!

Farmer’s Market

There are over 3,100 farmer’s markets throughout the US – one is probably near you! Visit Local Harvest for an extended search engine of farmer’s markets around the country.

A fun family past time as of late for our family is to visit our local farmer’s market in Vancouver, WA on Saturday mornings. It is small and not too crowded, the booths and people are so pleasant and fun, especially when you top it all off with some freshly made donuts from one of the stands (opps…you didn’t hear that!)

I just love walking around and enjoying our local community, supporting local agriculture and the abundance that the Lord has blessed us with right here in our city! It is just a small reminder that it doesn’t have to cost much, nor does it have to be extravagant to have a fun outing as a family.

Check out your local farmer’s market! Make sure to ask if they use sprays or pesticides, because just because they are at the farmer’s market, doesn’t necessarily mean it is free from these added chemicals. It doesn’t have to be organic to be good for you, I just recommend trying to avoid the sprays!

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

I am absolutely loving my CSA! Since starting this year it has been an adventure! Not only am I learning how to be creative and cook with different vegetables that I have never used before (bok choy, mustard greens, etc), because they are not sold in a standard supermarket, I am enjoying a fresh variety of wonderful food! It definitely has its challenges at times, and can be stretching, but it is good!

Find out more about CSA’s here. You can also search the Local Harvest search engine for CSA listings in your area. I have been using Hidden Oasis farm in my area and they actually deliver to my door! That is a huge blessing! My farmer isn’t certified organic, but he doesn’t use any sprays and I know from our conversations that he is doing it right! Organic isn’t necessary as long as you know the way they do it!

Local Food Sources & Restaurants – NW Washington & Portland

If you live in close proximity to us, you are in luck! I have compiled a huge resource of local food sources, restaurants, CSAs & markets in the area. You can check it out at my Local Resources page.

Where Can You Find Local?

Eat Well Guide -is an online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs. Enter your zip code to find healthful, humane, and ecofriendly products from farm, stores, and restaurants in your area. This guide includes listings for US & Canada. It is awesome!

Eat Wild -lists local suppliers for grass-fed meat and dairy products.

Local Harvest – helps you connect with local farmers, CSAs, and farmers’ markets.

Pick Your Own – find local farms with fruits and berries. Make sure to ask if they spray. You want to avoid those pesticides!

Check out restaurants in your area through Eat Wild (select your state, and then click on the right side bar “Beyond the Farm” for a full listing of restaurants) & Chef’s Collaborative.

Grow Your Own

We bought some lovely tomato plant starts from a local farmer who knows it all! I have been inspired to plant some this year and begin exploring the world of gardening in containers! Since I have no yard, this is my only option, but boy are there many things that grow well in this environment. I received an abundance of tips and am excited to put them into practice as I plant them this week. How fun! I am starting small, with four tomato plants…but the farmer assured me this would provide an abundance of tomatoes and supply my needs for canning this summer. I am excited! Next year I may get a little more guts to plant some other items. Baby steps!

No matter the limit of your space…consider growing some of your own food this year!

Here’s an inspiring video on the homegrown revolution (thanks to B.D. Buie for passing it on!). It’s challenging to see others using their limited space even in a city to grow their own food! You don’t need to live out in the country or have an abundance of land! You can make it work wherever you are!

Further Resources

FoodRoutesa national nonprofit dedicated to ‘reintroducing Americans to their food – the seeds it grows from, the farmers who produce it, and the routes that carry if from the fields to our tables.’

Edible Communities: A Network of excellent local magazines on local food
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver –
the story of one families journey to eat locally!
Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets by Deborah Madison
Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Food by Gary Paul Nabhan
Holy Cows And Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer’s Guide To Farm Friendly Food by Joel Salatin

Check out your packaging! Where are these items coming from?

Have fun exploring the bounty that surrounds you! Every little step is making progress! We started with CSA, then we began visiting our local farmer’s market, and now I am starting to check out my labels for other items! You would be surprised how far things can travel before getting to your table! While shopping at Costco, I found organic salsa produced in Eugene, OR which is just two hours south of us. I also found raisins grown and produced in Oregon as well. It’s surprising what you can find when you look a little closer!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

7 Responses to Why Eat Local? Enjoying Local Abundance

  1. Susan May 22, 2008 at 12:30 pm #

    Great information! I so like to see all the people who are going back to a more traditional/sustainable way of living and eating. For many people buying groceries is a chore that’s not much fun, but I relish every minute of it! I go to the farm and get to play with the animals, learn new things and see where my food comes from. My kids love it! And having our own garden is so much fun too! We’re slowly but surely getting our farm up and going and someday hope to be able to provide “slow food” to our family and neighbors.

  2. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home May 22, 2008 at 8:20 am #

    Oh, you’ll enjoy those tomato plants so much! My first summer gardening I had four plants (one was cherry), and we had way more tomatoes than we could eat. You should definitely be able to do some canning. I think you’ll just love it once you get into it- gardening is becoming addictive to me!

    You’ve got me excited about the Farmer’s Markets opening up here. Only one more week until June- hurray!

    I so wish that we could do a CSA. It sounds great every time you talk about it. Unfortunately, they haven’t really caught on in Canada yet.

    Great post!

  3. Mrs. Taft May 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm #

    Great post! You should share your tomato secrets, I want to do the same!

  4. Michele May 21, 2008 at 4:08 pm #

    I love your restaurant list! :) I used to order Hot Lips Pizza for college events, when I was in student government.

    I wonder if Old Wives Tales (www.oldwivestalesrestaurant.com) uses local ingredients too?

    Another one of my favorites is Intaba’s (in Corvallis). Oh, it has a new name now: http://www.fireworksvenue.com/main.html

    Great post! Thanks! :)

  5. Lynn May 21, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    It is so nice you live in an area where buying local and organic things are much easier. I grew up in the Portland area. It is so much easier to get health food items in the NW. They really encourage it in your area. I now live in OK and find it much harder to get items. The closest CSA drop off is over 30 minutes away and I live in a suburb of a large city. We don’t have Costco and our Sam’s club carries very little organic and local items. I am not meaning to complain too much but I sooooo wish health foods were easier to get here. But your ideas are great. I do miss burgerville. So much better then the other fast food hamburger places. And Nick’s in McMinnville brings back great memories. My husband and I had our engagement dinner there. They have great food for an out of the way small place. It is a very nice place. Thanks for the great post.

  6. Andrea May 21, 2008 at 9:05 am #

    This is a fantastic post. I agree strongly with reason #2 of why to go local. It is so important for Alaska to support our own local farm economy. It may not be cheaper up here to buy locally grown veggies because materials and living are just so expensive, but I want the reassurance that if all of the trucks stopped running tomorrow, that we could live off of what the farmers in Alaska produce. Right now, if that happened, I KNOW that our population of 600,000 people could not survive off of a few small farms. What is sad is that more and more farm land is being sold as real estate every year because we can just eat food grown in South America or New Zealand, right? I want to be a part of supporting our local farmers. The good news (sort of) is that CSAs are so popular here that there are long waiting lists to get a box of locally grown veggies. I hope this encourages farmers to expand and helps our state to become a little more self sustainable food wise.

    Phew. I’ll get off my soapbox now! All of your suggestions are great and fitting themselves into my new mentality.

  7. Cyndy May 21, 2008 at 8:08 am #

    These are some great and inspirational ideas. We are trying to produce more of our own food…we even have chickens!
    BTW – I recently purchased one of your families skirts from Christa Taylor…I LOVE IT!