All September long we are making it even easier for you to Eat Local. We are highlighting local products throughout our stores, adding more sales on local products and inviting more local farmers and vendors into our stores to sample their products and answer your questions about them.
For those who like a challenge, we'll also be holding our 5th Annual Eat Local Challenge.
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.)
This year our Delis have a friendly competition: to take a few surprise 100% Local ingredients each Sunday through Wednesday for two weeks and make a dish for available for lunch. We'll post each day's dish here - let us know what you think! Then, in the second half of the month, we'll open up the competition to you. We'll give you the ingredients to use - send us your recipe and a photo of your dish, and we'll post it on Facebook. The dish with the most "likes" will win a $100 gift card!
Looking for some helpful suggestions about how to eat more local food? Here are some resources:
Sample Week-Long Menus and Recipes from previous Eat Local Challenges (PDF format)
This year we have expanded the opportunities to include "Eat Local Month" - now everyone, whether or not they sign up for the 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. Our fifth annual Eat Local Challenge will run September 1–September 28, and you can take it for either two weeks or for the full four-week Challenge. It's a self-monitored challenge, a way to find new local foods (or ways to make new local foods yourself), and to notice what local foods we don't (yet?) have available.
Locally Prepared LocavoreAll of what you eat is either locally grown or locally prepared (locally roasted coffee or locally made peanut butter, for example).
Essentially Locavore All of what you eat has an insignificant amount of non-local ingredients added to a locally grown product required to meet product standards or quality (i.e., palmitate, carageenan, citric acid).
Everything you eat is locally grown (except salt)
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 2014 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 "Farm-Fresh and Fast," their follow-up to "From Asparagus to Zucchini," you should get one. 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); Market Baskets (a partnership with Growing Power consisting of weekly deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables); 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)
Although the sign-up period has ended, you can always eat more local food!