New trend or healthy return to familiarization with where our foods come from, eating locally, shopping at farm stands and farmers markets, and choosing restaurants that use local produce is increasing in popularity throughout America. To help make the journey back to this new twist on the dinner table, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point food and nutrition professor and registered dietitian Jasia Steinmetz has written, Eat Local: Simple Steps to Enjoy Real, Healthy & Affordable Food.
A simple and delightful read, this book breaks down the many options consumers have for finding and enjoying “local” foods, defining what “local” truly means and addressing the many concerns of American families on the heels of repeated food recalls.
In a society governed by quick and convenience, shopping for food is at once a pain and uncertainty. Large groceries provide pretty items from which to choose, but a limited palate of choices. Much of our food options are from far away places – countries and other parts of our own – spending time up to days and weeks in transport, lessening the quality of the food and costing us in more ways than the pocket book.
Yet many fear the presumed higher prices of “locally grown” or how to even go about finding and choosing.
Steinmetz addresses all of these concerns in an easy and interesting read. Eat Local: Simple Steps to Enjoy Real, Healthy & Affordable Food offers up a range of ideas, tips and how-tos that get anyone on the right track to better eating and in turn, living.
Steinmetz notes, “The way we produce food today has radically changed, and we are increasingly becoming disconnected from our food supply. As well, resources such as soil and water are diminishing at alarming rates, compromising our future food supply. The good news is communities and citizens can partake in local foods and, in doing so, help reclaim control of our collective food system to make it safer and more dependable for ourselves and future generations.. My book, “Eat Local: Simples Steps to Enjoy Real, Healthy & Affordable Food,” is the first-of-its-kind, offering a simple, easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide on finding and purchasing local foods, which benefit our food system, bodies and budgets.”
Chapters include Why Eat Local, Concerns & Challenges, Seasonal Eating, and Questions to Ask Your Produce Manager. Among my personal favorites, Farm Stands/Local Farms offers up tips and ideas on using the local farmers right in your area. An expert from the chapter:
The “one-stop shop” for fresh food. If you want the best food for the best price, then the farmers’ market is the most con- venient, one-stop for shopping. Farmers harvest close to sale time so the food has maximum nutrition at peak flavor. Markets also offer the most variety of foods that changes throughout the seasons so you can shop frequently and try different foods. To save money, buy small quanti- ties of various items and return often.
And as she does throughout the book, Steinmetz provides at the end of the chapter a list of high-points or tips to breakdown the concepts discussed. The simple to use and institute tips get to the heart of the matter in an instant, and for those who don’t wish to read the entire book, can skim these simple to use breakdowns to get out and about and shopping quickly.
From the Simple Steps for the Farmers’ Market Steinmetz includes such tips as “Tour First; taking a walk around the market when you first arrive”… to a repeated concept found throughout the book, “Try new foods more than once: Often it takes many exposures of a new food before our palate may respond. Research shows that it takes 12 – 20 tastes before a new food may be appealing!”
Among the many other helpful tips found throughout the book are the Simple Steps to Picking Produce, Questions to Ask Produce Managers, and Simple Steps: Co-ops & Natural Food Stores.
Packed full with so many easy use ideas, a friendly, charming and clean reading style, and information that will get the best possible foods to your family’s table in a cost-effective manner and delightfully tasteful way, Eat Local: Simple Steps to Enjoy Real, Healthy & Affordable Food is a must-have for your kitchen’s book shelf and active counter use. This tome will likely become a much-trusted favorite as you expand your palate, dishes, and family’s healthy lifestyle.
You can read more from Steinmetz at her website, Eat Local Simple Steps.
“Eat Local: Simples Steps to Enjoy Real, Healthy & Affordable Food” (ISBN: 978-0-9632814-5-6, Paperback, $12.95 U.S.) Amazon click here