What Is the Locavore Movement?

New-ish Movements in Sustainable Eating

Locavore MovementIt seems there’s a revolution in eating, being healthy, or dieting — just about every single day. We’re a lucky bunch in the U.S., with so much time to think about, analyze, and then change the way we put things in our mouths. Some of these movements stick around, others disappear after a while, and a few make so much sense that we just weave them into the ordinary fabric of the rest of our lives. So what about this Locavore Movement we’ve been hearing so much about in the last several years?

Defined in brief, a Locavore is someone who prefers to put effort towards eating food that has been produced locally, rather than food that has been grown elsewhere, typically far away, and then shipped or moved any amount of distance before it arrives at the market place. Tied up tightly with things like the resurgence in farmers markets, seasonal dieting, and sustainable agriculture, the Locavore movement has found some very logical, comfortable partners and has fast been attracting loyal followers too.

Resources on the Locavore Movement

According to sources, the word and concept “Locavore” was an entirely recent invention, coming into the American lexicon as late as 2005, and then rising to prominence so quickly as to be named the 2007 “Word of the Year” by the Oxford American Dictionary.

So just how “local” does the food that we consume have to be, in order for us to call ourselves willing participants in the Locavore movement, then? The terms don’t seem to be universal quite yet, but the number most often tossed about in foodie / sustainability circles is 100. The “strict” definition of local food is: the food that has been produced and grown within 100 miles of its purchase point.

Because of this, local farms, farming communities, community gardens, and backyard food producers have come into the equation. One might be the chicken and the other might clearly be the egg, we’re not sure — and perhaps it doesn’t matter. If the small community farm came into being because of the movement, or if it happened the other way around, the point is clear — people want to know where their food comes from, and they want to be invested in that process at a grass roots level (no pun intended), whether they realize this consciously or not.

While some may take the argument to the seasonal dieting level, others just find some fault in the idea that a tomato can end up in their supermarket 12 months out of the year, though it can only be grown in a patch of dirt in the backyard during three months, and harvested during maybe two of those months. That persistent “something is fishy here” feeling has spawned greater consciousness, and from that elevated manner of thinking, the Locavore movement.

If you have a story about how Locavore-ism has changed your life or your community, we encourage you to share. If you’ve got more than a comment’s worth of commentary, drop us a line and we’ll figure out a way for you to contribute a guest blog post to Planet Matters & More. We’d love it if you did!

[Photo Copyright: Susan Wolsborn]

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