Co-ops around the country are celebrating eating local with a month-long
"Eat Local, America"
challenge, and Twin Cities co-ops
are getting in on the action, too, offering up plenty of reasons to eat
local, green, and healthy this season.
This isn't your typical challenge. No, there are no Stairmasters or sideways stares from gym members as you awkwardly fumble with a machine that looks more like an antiquated human-trapping device than a way to burn calories. This challenge is all about setting a simple goal to eat more locally grown foods, whether it's promising to eat three local meals a week or make local food 80 percent of your entire diet. The great part is, you decide
what works for you and your locavore heart.
Here are just a couple of the great Eat Local deals happening at your local co-op:
Seward Co-op kicks off its Eat Local month with a celebration August 1 featuring local vendors and prizes; learn more at www.seward.coop.
Anyone purchasing $20 or more in local items at Seward--anytime in August--could win a cartload of groceries, so look for the local shelf signs throughout the store.
Lakewinds Natural Foods is planning a very special dinner on the farm to celebrate the conclusion of their Eat Local activities. Farm to Fork, on Sunday, September 26 is a local 5-course dinner at New Prague's Cedar Summit Farm. Advance tickets are available starting August 9; visit www.lakewinds.coop
This is also a great time to take advantage of classes on home food preservation. Suzanne Driessen from University of Minnesota Extension will teach about the basics of home canning on Tuesday August 17 at the Wedge Co-op, and the essentials of successfully freezing food for later use on Thursday September 9; look for more Wedge Eat Local events at www.wedge.coop
. Mississippi Market's series of food preservation classes, taught by Master Preserver Liz McMann, began in July and continues through September Go to www.msmarket.coop
for a complete schedule.
Not sure what constitutes local? Signs in the stores will guide you. But if you're still unsure, ask your grocer or check out this list
of great local producers
. Of course, you can always find local and sustainable foods at your farmers markets, too.
The Eat Local, America challenge also encourages participants to purchase local food at restaurants, too. Common Roots
in Uptown just unveiled its now August menu, featuring a majority of local, organic, and sustainable foods. And the Birchwood Cafe
, Galactic Pizza
, and Sen Yai Sen Lak
are just a few other places around town offering affordable, local cafe fare that makes eating local easy.