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Willy Street Co-op's Eat Local Month

How Local Will You Go?Eat Local Month header

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 4th Annual Eat Local Challenge.

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.)

Helpful Resources

Looking for some helpful suggestions about how to eat more local food? Here are some resources:

Join our Eat Local Challenge Facebook group!

10 Ways to Engage Kids with Local Foods (from Eat Local America)

"Food to Fork" Facts

Sample Week-Long Menus and Recipes from previous Eat Local Challenges (PDF format)

Inspirational Blogs/Articles

  • My Eat-Local Challenge - Andre Darlington writes in the Isthmus about how he ate regional food for a month.
  • Burp! - a Milwaukee-based blog that focuses on cooking with local, sustainably raised, and organic food whenever possible
  • The Good Food Muse - by our very own Willy West Produce Manager, Megan Blodgett!
  • My Year of Food - by our very own Executive Assistant and Newsletter Writer, Stephanie Ricketts!

Co-op Newsletter Articles

Eat Local Challenge

Eat Local Challenge logo

4th Annual Eat Local Challenge, Sept. 1 - Sept. 28, 2013

This year we have expanded the opportunities to include "Eat Local Month" - now everyone, whether or not they sign up for the Challenge


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. Our fourth annual Eat Local Challenge will run September 1–September 28, and you can sign up for either two weeks or for the full four-week Challenge.

Take the Eat Local Challenge pledge.

Challenge Levels

Locally Prepared LocavoreLocally Prepared logoAll of what you eat is either locally grown or locally prepared (locally roasted coffee or locally made peanut butter, for example).

Essentially LocavoreEssentially Local logo 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).

100% Locavore
100% Local logoEverything you eat is locally grown (except salt)

Our Partners

REAP Food Group logo

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 - 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- 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!