The panelists were:
• Deborah Madison, Author, Local Flavors, Seasonal Fruit Desserts, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and many more.
• Leda Meredith, Author, The Locavore's Handbook, and Ballet and Dinner From Scratch.
• Jessica Prentice, Author, Full Moon Feast
• Temra Costa, Author, Farmer Jane (Moderator)
I've compiled 25 Tips for Eating Locally on a Budget from their discussion, and hope you'll add your tips in the comments:
- Plan your menu around seasonal fruits and veggies.
- Every fruit and vegetable has a season. Within that season there is a peak season, which is the cheapest time to buy them.
- Can, freeze, pickle, and dry fruits and veggies by yourself, and with others, while they are in season.
- Eat the whole vegetable (e.g. beet and the beet greens, chard leaves and stems).
- Create purchasing criteria. Prioritize which foods you will be flexible with, and which you will always buy when they are organic and local.
- Walk around the farmers' market before you buy anything to compare prices.
- Make a list before shopping to prevent impulse buys.
- Don't go shopping when you're hungry, to prevent over-buying.
- Grow your own fruits and veggies. If your yard is sunny and your neighbor's is shady, grow the appropriate plants in each of your plots, and trade.
- Join a community garden.
- Get over "meat prejudice." Stewing cuts are cheaper than steak and hamburger. Whole animals, and cuts with the bone in them are cheaper than; for example, a boneless, skinless chicken breast. Mutton is cheaper than lamb.
- Use bone broth in dishes to get inexpensive nutrition without having to add meat to the dish.
- Raise your own chickens and/or bees.
- Embrace rice and beans!
- Volunteer at farmers' markets and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) in exchange for free, or discounted produce.
- Find out if your farmers' market takes food stamps (some do).
- Buy, cook, and share food with friends and neighbors.
- Create, or join a CSK (Community Supported Kitchen).
- Reframe thinking about spending money on fresh, local, and organic food as an investment, rather than a luxury. Prioritize spending money on food over other things.
- Eat nutrient-dense foods. You'll need to eat less, and won't need to buy vitamin supplements.
- Trade your talents and skills for food.
- Embrace limits. Have more expensive food for special occasions, not every day.
- Use a slow cooker.
- Use a pressure cooker (apparently they don't blow up anymore!).
- Always cook enough to have leftovers.
One of mine is to check out Sustainable Table and Local Harvest. They are great resources for finding farmers' markets, CSAs, food co-ops, and other sustainable food resources.
Photos by me from the Temescal Farmers' Market.