Although the sign-up period has ended, you can always eat more local food!
What is the Eat Local Challenge?
We’re challenging YOU to eat more local foods, whether they’re from farmers’ markets, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), your garden or our store. Last year over 600 people took the Challenge, and we're hoping to double that number this year. Our third annual Eat Local Challenge will run September 1–September 28. Sign-ups will start Aug. 1st. This year you can sign up for either two weeks or for the full four-week Challenge. All those who sign up will receive coupons for local products, sample menus and recipes, discounts for classes and more.
Why eat local?
Local foods tend to be fresher than those shipped from across the country or farther away, and fresh food has more nutrients. Transporting food long distances requires more fossil fuels and packaging than those grown and prepared closer to home. You’re also supporting your local farmers and keeping the agricultural viability of their communities alive.
(Willy Street Co-op defines “local” as within 150 miles of the State Capitol building or anywhere in Wisconsin.)
Looking for some helpful suggestions about how to succeed with your challenge level pledge? Here are some printed materials that we've found helpful with all three challenge levels.
all of what you eat is either locally grown or locally prepared
everything you eat is locally grown, except for five exceptions chosen by you (for example: bananas, coffee, lemons, coconut water and Chia seeds)
everything you eat is locally grown (except salt)
Take the Pledge starting Aug. 1!
Join our Eat Local Challenge Facebook group!
Co-op Newsletter Articles
REAP Food Group - Research, Education, Action and Policy on Food Group (REAP) is building a regional food system that is healthful, just, and both environmentally and economically sustainable. REAP connects producers, consumers, policy makers, educators, businesses and organizations to nourish the links between land and table. REAP is committed to projects that shorten the distance from farm to table, support small family farmers, encourage sustainable agricultural practices, preserve the diversity and safety of our food supply and address the food security of everyone in our community.
Check out the online version of REAP's 2012 Southern Wisconsin Farm Fresh Atlas, a great resource.
FairShare CSA Coalition - FairShare CSA Coalition is a coalition of people invested in the vitality and strength of our community. Through education, outreach, community building and resource sharing, we are working to raise the bar on quality and accessibility of CSA shares in our region.
CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, typically means that members of the farm purchase a share in advance, committing to the farm for the season and helping cover the initial annual costs of the farm operation. In return, members receive boxes of the farm’s produce or products throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and being more knowledgeable of local food production.
If you don't own a copy of From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce, it's an invaluable cookbook, especially if you are interested in eating local!
Slow Food UW- Slow Food UW's mission is to "promote affordable access to "good, clean, fair" food by creating awareness about and engagement with our food system." It is made up of a group for UW students who are interested in where their food comes from, geographically and culturally. The group builds on years of success in uniting local chefs, farmers, and students in bringing the rich traditions of slow, sustainable, and local eating to campus.
Major projects include: Family Dinner Night (weekly dinners events); Celebrate South Madison (aiding underserved neighborhoods by connecting farmers, the UW campus, and the South Madison community); Farm-to-University (improving the campus food system); The Slow Food Cafe (serving the most delicious, affordable, sustainable food on campus) and ongoing outreach (workshops on canning, composting, and other skills; lectures given by farmers and chefs; and volunteer work trips to local farms).