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Sep 10 2012

Day Two: EAT Local

Have you ever roamed the aisles of a grocery store and thought about where the food you're buying came from? Better yet, ever wonder if it's really worth it to eat organic, especially when you're on a budget? 

Our goal during Support Local Week is not to pound you with statistics, force you to change your entire lifestyle, or guilt you into submission. (Although, the later is tempting.) Rather, we want to provide simple resources that will enable you to make more informed choices as consumers. 

So for Day Two, here are five of our favorite resources for EATing local and organic: 

1. The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 

The Environmental Working Group releases both The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 lists each year as shoppers' guides to pesticides in produce. The top five of The Dirty Dozen (meaning the most important to buy organic)? Apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, and strawberries. The Clean(est) of the 15? Onions, sweet corn, pineapple, avocado, and cabbage. Each guide is a crucial tool to help you decide the most important foods to buy organic within your budget. 

2. Seasons App 

Having watermelon in the winter may be a godsend for pregnancy cravings everywhere, but it's not exactly how nature intended. As a society, we've grown so accustomed to imported fruits and vegetables being available year round that we forget about the seasonality of our favorite produce. By following the natural seasons, with the assistance of this simple phone app, you can experience a greater variety of produce at the peak of freshness (all while supporting local agriculture). 

3. Why Buy Organic Meat and Dairy 

Most of us instantly think about fruits and veggies when we think about buying local and organic. However, this top 10-style list provides some compelling reasons why buying organic meat and dairy products is not only a healthier choice, but also helps environmental issues like deforestation and air and water pollution. 

4. Seafood Watch

Most seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help boost immunity and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and more. However, not all types of seafood are safe for regular consumption. The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch list highlights types of seafood that are low in environmental contaminants and good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

5. Eat Well Guide 

Eat Well Guide is a free online directory for anyone in search of fresh, locally grown, and sustainably produced food in the United States, including family farms, restaurants, farmers' markets, grocery stores, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, U-pick orchards, and more.  

Know more resources that help you EAT Local? We'd love to hear them. Post your thoughts on our Facebook page or give us a shout on Twitter