If you've read my blog you have probably noticed that I'm pretty dedicated to local eating. Through the summer I grow my own fruit and veggies and I have a greenhouse where I attempt to grow produce in the fall and early spring. I'm realistic about what I can get from my land and what I need to rely on others for. I simply do not have the space for meat (except maybe a few chickens but I would raise them more for eggs then for meat). So, to ensure that the meat on my table has been organically raised and humanely treated, I only order from farms I can actually visit. My lovely organic beef is from Mill Bay, our free-range eggs come from Central Saanich, we get our chicken either from Mill Bay or from Central Saanich and our lamb from North Saanich. I also buy our seafood from a fisherman who fishes in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Our cheeses (both cow and goats) come from Saltspring Island. I love that I can serve a meal and tell you exactly where each ingredient has come from. I think it is so important that we all can identify where our food comes from. Since I've invested the time in researching how and where my food is grown and raised, I have not had a single case, even mild, of food poisoning. I can not stress how much better food tastes when it is fresh, when your meat hasn't been maltreated and stressed, when it is grown and raised in the same climate you live in.
The other bonus to local eating, is seasonal eating. Most people think of eating in season as a restriction on their menu however I think of it as a plus. Seasonal foods are always going to be less expensive than ones that are grown in hot houses and shipped great distances. Seasonal food has so much more flavor because nothing has been forced. However in my climate there is not a lot of options for winter eating so we preserve the bounty of summer and enjoy it throughout the year.
Local eating is a joy and one that you will never go back on. Once you have tried changing your diet to local and seasonal nothing will ever taste as good so you just can't go back. Take a weekend, visit local farmers markets or stands and ask questions. It's so much easier than you think.