Heart of the Matter 26: The Locavore

Eating locally is big these days - the closer to home your food comes from, the more economical, carbon-friendly and overall good-for-everyone it can be. People who eat mostly local foods have even garnered their own title: locavores. Locavores are people who eat mostly food that has been grown or produced near their home (sometimes a radius of 100 miles - or even their own back yard). Many farmer's markets are beginning this month (or on their way), the first spring lettuces, asparagus and rhubarb are peeking their way out of the ground and ready to grace our plates after a long winter, and the idea of supporting your local economy couldn't be more prudent...what better way to enjoy all of these things than to cook up something at home, made with fresh, spring ingredients that have traveled a minimal distance to your plate?

Since we're as big of supporters of being good to our bodies (especially our hearts) as we are of being good to the Earth, we thought a theme of Local Foods, or "The Locavore" for Heart of the Matter this month would be fitting. So go ahead - forage, grow or shop your way to a heart-healthy dish made mostly with foods from the area where you live, then share it with all of us!

Here's the rules:

Make something that is heart healthy (low in saturated fats - ie. lean meats and fish, low in sodium and abundant in vegetables or fruit), using mostly ingredients that are grown or produced within 150 miles of your home (or heck, at least from your state/region). If you're growing something in your garden and it's ready to use, that's even better! If you can find only a few ingredients locally, then use one of them as the centerpiece for your dish! We're not strict, we just think it will be a great way to start the summer off - thinking about what might be grown in your community, or what you could be growing by the time September rolls around and Fall is here (for instance, tomatoes are best towards the end of summer...there's still time to get seedlings and start growing your own - everybody knows there's nothing as tasty as a home-grown tomato!). Just think of all the participants of HotM from around the world and all the possible climates and different types of things that can be grown in all those different places!

Once you've blogged about your local foods dish, submit to me by email at phillipslayden AT gmail DOT com by midnight on Thursday, May 28 (please put "HotM" in the subject line). Then stay tuned for the round-up and see what everyone else made from ingredients that were local to them. If you're still unsure what "heart-healthy" means, check out the HotM blog, and the many useful links in the right hand sidebar. Please only use your entry for this event so that we can keep things centered on heart-healthy recipes. We're excited to see the diversity of heart-healthy and local dishes that you produce this month and can't wait to read about them!

7 comments from you:

Deetsa said...

I can only be so locavore, especially as the season for locavoring is barely starting around here but I may actually have something partly locavore but I doubt it could be considered heart friendly. I'm so conflicted. *sigh*

Jenny @ Nourished Kitchen said...

Most of our food comes within about 50 miles of our home; of course, it helps that my husband and I run our farmers market and have worked to make access to local foods easier. I'd be inclined to disagree that lack of saturated fats equates to "heart healthiness" though. We like our butter, tallow, cream and coconut around these parts and believe they're very valuable and healthy foods.

Michelle said...

Hi Jenny,

Yes, you are very lucky indeed! I was wondering when this might come up from someone. First, let me say that I completely understand your side - I have the nourished traditions book too and follow many of it's principles, and I am also an avid reader of your wonderful blog.

However, because this event was started simply to bring awareness to heart disease and in support of National Wear Red Day and American Heart Month by the National Heart Association, and because one of our co-hosts had just been through a heart attack with her husband, and was following her doctor's recommendations, we have chosen to keep with the recommendations of the AHA for this monthly event for now.

Thanks for your comment and for bringing up a good point! I encourage anyone reading this to go check out Jenny's blog and the resources on it and make the decisions about what constitutes "heart health" for yourself.


Katie Zeller said...

We are now living in the prune, walnut, tomato capital of France!
I'll have to give this one some thought....

Soma said...

Hi Michelle

I just mailed you my entry.


Michelle said...

Mmm...sounds like a delicious canvas for you!

Got it! Thank you for participating!

Amanda on Maui said...

I missed the deadline for this because I didn't know about your blog. But, most of my food is local if you take a look at my blog. I buy nearly all of my produce locally, all of my beef locally, and I've been spending an arm and a leg for pasture raised local eggs.

Also, I'm on Maui, so we're like neighbors.

Anyway, I'm going to add your blog to my blogroll. Would you be willing to do the same?