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Resources for Eating More Seasonal and Local Foods

local flavorsSince I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a couple of years ago, I have been committed to eating local food.

We ate a lot of fresh foods before that (especially from our own garden), but had never considered the long-term implications of eating food grown thousands of miles away.

Now, at least half of our food is locally grown, even more than that in the summer.

Local, in-season foods are healthier, tastier, and almost always cheaper than their long-traveling and out-of-season counterparts.

I was talking about seasonal foods on Twitter this week, and a few people mentioned getting stuck in a veggie rut, using the same old recipes until they were just sick of the monotony.

When you have a recipe that just works, it's so easy to get into a routine.

This year, try some new preparation methods and recipes. Here are my favorite books and web sites for preparing seasonal foods.

Books that Will Help Make the Most of Seasonal FoodsServing Up the Harvest

  • Serving Up the Harvest – I think this is my favorite among my seasonal cookbooks. It is full of advice and recipes, and I use it almost weekly during the warm months.
  • The Harvest Eating Cookbook – Keith Snow approaches local eating the way most of us do. He prefers local foods, but doesn't chastise himself for buying foods from afar when convenience or craving necessitate it. His recipes are creative and tasty.
  • Simply in Season Expanded Edition and Children's Cookbook – I got these from the local library once, and I've been wanting to buy them ever since.
  • Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets by Deborah Madison – I adore Deborah Madison, and I have a lot of her cookbooks from my decade as a vegetarian. This one is full of beautiful pictures of fresh vegetables and tempting dishes.
  • Farm to Fork: Cooking Local, Cooking Fresh by Emeril Lagasse – I haven't read this one, but the reviews on Amazon look awesome. I put it on my wish list for later. Apparently, it is an all-in-one resource, including sections on canning and home preserving, choosing the best foods, and recipes.

Websites that Will Help Make the Most of Seasonal Foods

What resources do you use to maximize your use of seasonal foods?

© 2011 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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3 thoughts on “Resources for Eating More Seasonal and Local Foods”

  1. I love buying locally grown–and I scout my farmer’s market constantly in the summer! But you know one other thing I’ve wondered about? It seems to me that let’s say 150 or 200 years ago people in North America ate a wider variety of meat than we do today. Many ate more fish. They ate bear, and venison, and even squirrel (yuck!). We really just eat beef, chicken, and pork, and that grown in a particular way.

    I’ve been trying to buy my beef and chicken from farmers that I know don’t use a lot of hormones, but I wonder sometimes if we should be trying to eat a larger variety of meat. Maybe all the reliance on just 3 isn’t good either? I’m just curious about what you think…

    • I was a vegetarian for 10+ years, and I try not to think much about meat. 🙂

      That said, I think you could very well be onto something. There has been research done to show that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is healthier than eating the same thing all the time. (That’s the idea behind eating the rainbow, right?) Using the same logic, a variety of proteins would also be healthier – including nuts and eggs and beans.
      I really think you’re on to something. Maybe we can get a nutritionist to weigh in.

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