By Fredrica Syren:
We have embarked on a one-month food challenge: we’ll not shop from any grocery store at all or eat at a restaurant or order takeout food, and will eat only locally produced organic food from either farmers or the farmers’ market. So why are we doing this, you might wonder? Well — for many reasons, actually.
First, we always try to eat locally produced and organic foods. While we lived in San Diego, it was easy to eat like that since the warm climate there produces wonderful fruits and veggies even during the winter months. However, here in Sweden the season for locally produced crops is short, only from June to October, so we said why not really relish in all the wonderful organic produce grown near us while we still can. Why eat any vegetables or fruits grown elsewhere? Our farmers’ market will stop at the end of October, so it seems as if September would be a great month to eat food from there only.
Second, eating like this will save money. Before we started this challenge, I would make one big grocery shopping trip once a week. I also would end up returning to the store to buy small things like milk, butter or bananas that we ran out of. That’s when it’s super easy for other (unplanned) items to land in the shopping basket. During our challenge, I grocery shop only once a week, when our farmers’ market is open. This way, we’re forced to make due with what we have and we don’t end up with anything extra; so it saves us lots of money, too. In addition, we’re not eating out or buying takeout since it’s not local or organic food, and that saves lots of money. We’re planning a lifelong dream of a trip to New Zealand for all five of us. That’s going to be expensive, so we’re saving up for this adventure. This is our carrot during the challenge.
Third, we’re all about green and eco-friendly living, so eating food only from the farmers’ market is the best way to reduce our carbon footprint. Food at the farmers’ market is organic and local, so it requires fewer fossil fuels to transport, therefore generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventionally produced food or food from a grocery store. Furthermore, most of the food sold at the farmers’ market is not prepackaged or comes in lots of packaging, so it’s possible to reduce waste by shopping there as well. We use only reusable cloth produce bags and shopping bags. If we use plastic bags, they are recycled.
We are now on week 2 of the challenge. So far, it’s been smooth sailing and we have not missed any particular food not found at the market, and we never run out of food. Our meals have been well planned and delicious. Actually, I noticed the kids eating more and loving every meal. We for sure waste less food and produce less trash each week, but our compost is fuller☺. The challenge is that we do cook all our meals at home, so it takes more planning. You have to like to cook and bake, which we do. We absolutely eat well and our meals are never boring or repeated very much. You can read more about my weekly meal planning here. I think what has challenged us is finding substitutes for items such as bananas, coffee or sugar not found at the farmers’ market that we rely on for our weekly cooking, but we’re figuring this out as we go.
You can learn more about our one-month food challenge and keep up how it’s going on YouTube
If you like this video you can find them all by clicking here.
Eating locally grown food is a great way to support local farmers and keep local money and jobs in the community. I find that food at the farmers’ market is cheaper than conventionally produced food sold in grocery stores. As the demands for local and organic food increases more and more, small farmers will adopt environmentally friendly practices. This in turn means fewer pesticides polluting our planet, posing a risk to wildlife, humans and the environment; instead, soil will be enriched.
Are you ready to join us in a one-week challenge?