1) Look for value in terms of freshness and taste, not just price.
2) Celebrate each season. Look forward to strawberries in early summer, but don’t expect to eat them in the depths of winter. If that is hard for you, freeze or can your favourite produce and enjoy it when the snow flies.
3) Eating local isn’t just about produce; our farmers produce grains, dairy products, meats, and other foods, too.
4) You don’t have to be a great cook when you start with fresh, local, chemical-free ingredients. These foods taste great with a minimum of added fuss.
5) Whether you choose a farmers’ market, a CSA, a delivery service, or a local grocer as the main source of your food, try to become a ‘regular’. Reliable sales help farmers build a stronger supply.
6) Develop direct connections with local farmers. The easiest way to do this is by attending a weekly market. Ask questions, and you can learn what’s especially good on a given day, how to prepare and store foods, which varieties/cuts are best for various uses, as well as how things are going on the farm. When you prepare meals with the foods you buy this way, there will be added flavour!
7) Use more of the food you buy. About a quarter of the food purchased by Canadians goes to waste. Reducing this fraction saves money and reduces the environmental impact of food production and waste disposal. Ideas for reducing waste include making soups from clean vegetable trimmings and tops, checking the back of the fridge and taking inventory before shopping, learning to assess freshness rather than relying on ‘best-before’ dates, and making good use of leftovers.
8) Ugly fruits and vegetables taste good too! Expecting every item to look perfect increases cost, chemical use, and waste. When buying meats, remember that steaks and boneless chicken breasts are not the only cuts.
9) Ask for more local items and better labelling at your local grocery store.
10) When you support local, fair, environmentally positive food producers, you’re investing in the future. This is activism, and it’s tasty, too!