Simpler and Healthier…Think/Eat Locally!

A week or so ago I was sitting in the orthodontist’s office waiting for my daughter when I picked-up a copy of Metro Detroit Menu Guide. An article entitled “Think Globally, Eat Locally” caught my interest as I read beyond the bold type and glanced at the pictures. A friend of mine uses the term ‘locavore’ all the time. LOCAVORE actually got an “official” status in 2007 by the New Oxford American Dictionary as Word of the Year! locavore n: someone who eats food grown or produced locally…a trend to use locally grown, seasonally available foods. More info at www.madeinmichiganmovement.com

Also known as ‘localvores’, was actually coined by a group of San Francisco women who challenged residents to eat only food grown within a 100-mile radius! (www.locavores.com) The trend is to buy more local, nutritionally dense foods; fresher, better taste, utilizing less fuel for shipping, better for the environ as well. And…better for the local economy. Check out www.slowfoods.com

 The Michigan Dept of Agriculture estimates if every household spent just $10 a week on locally grown foods, it would keep more than $37 Mil each week circulating in the state’s economy. We sure could use a boost in our economy!!!!

A few interesting MICHIGAN facts:

Agriculture is the 2nd largest economic driver in MI (>$71 Bil); ranks 2nd only to CA in agricultural diversity.

MI ranks 3rd in the nation for asparagus.

Frito-Lay boasts purchasing >472 Mil pounds of MI spuds to go into Lays potato chips!

MI is the nation’s  largest producer of blueberries; the west side of the state accounts for 33% of all US blueberries.

Maple syrup is harvested from Feb – April and MI ranks 5th in the country for production!

MI was the birthplace of the nation’s celery industry in the Kalamazoo area in 1850’s and ranks 3rd in national production.

Where there are trees, there’s bees…producing >5 Mil pounds of honey in 2000 making MI 9th in the nation.

MI ranks 3rd in the nation’s production of apples – our most valuable fruit crop.

MI produces > 70% of the tart cherries in the US.

MI ranks 4th in the nation’s peach production.

MI sugar company is the 3rd largest beet sugar processor in the US.

Our wine industry is growing too…contributing $300 Mil annually to Michigan’s economy.

Whether you dine out on occasion or plan to cultivate a little patch of ground in 2010 for your own fresh produce…think LOCAL www.selectmichigan.org and become a locavore!  Support local farmers www.farmersmarkets.msu.edu/ in your area and help yourself to a healthier lifestyle.

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