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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Buying Locally

I've been running the Frugal Kitchens 101 each Monday since the first of 2009. I seriously cannot stress enough how important it is that if you want to save money on your food costs to eat locally. The closer to home you can buy any produce, meats or dairy the more you are going to save money. Now, buying locally doesn't mean you buy at the local grocery store. Buying locally means that particular food was grown and/or processed within a 160 km (100 mile) of your home. The shorter the distance the better it is. Anything you can grow yourself is within a few feet or yards of your house. There are no transportation or environmental costs providing you grow organically. Buying locally supports your neighbours, makes your community stronger while providing you with the freshest food products possible. This is a great video by Hellman's highlights buying locally.

We have had the good fortune to live in an area where produce, meats, poultry, eggs and fish are abundant within less than the 162 km range of our house. Sugar beets are grown and processed into sugar just under that 162 km range. Even salt including curing salt is produced within that range. I am seriously amazed at what I can buy that is grown within that range. There are even a couple of domestic cheese factories, breweries and wineries with online stores that will deliver right to our door! We try to eat as much as possible within the 162 km range. Unfortunately some foods like oils, olives, tropical fruits, teas, vinegars, coffees, sea salts, rices except for wild rice and some seasonings are not grown locally. Obviously there are a lot of other foods we eat that have their origins outside the 162 km range but for the most part the vast majority of the foods we eat are within that range.

We live in a world where global trade is the norm. We are used to all of the lovely food extras that are produced throughout the world. How wonderful it is to be able to enjoy them! I don't know a magical percentage for purchasing them but if you aim to keep these foods at 20% or less of your total food budget you will be saving money and the environment as well as supporting local growers.

1 food lovers commented:

A Year on the Grill said...

Excellent post. While the cost is very important, the quality should not be taken lightly. I have started going to my local farmer's market twice a month, and the quality of my cooking has really improved.

Finally, you will eat healthier. I am not totally a 100 miler, but I am inching my way there bit by bit

Great post