Eating Locally for Thanksgiving
the Thanksgiving Local and Organic Food Challenge. The Thanksgiving Challenge aims to inspire Americans to learn more about local, sustainable or organic food by using Eat Well Guide's comprehensive online tool for finding local ingredients for at least one dish they will prepare as part of their holiday meal.
"At a time of numerous food safety issues, produce and meat recalls, and rising food prices, consumers want to know where their food is coming from, how it's being produced, and what carbon footprint, or 'foodprint,' it might have," said Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union. "There are many great reasons to buy local: Fresh, local fruits and vegetables may retain more nutrients than produce shipped hundreds of miles. Local food can help cut back on climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions. If they are grown organically, they will help protect air, water and soil quality."
"For Americans, Thanksgiving is the year's peak travel weekend, but there's no reason the food for our feasts has to travel thousands of miles as well," said Eat Well Guide Director Destin Joy Layne. "With the holidays around the corner, and fuel-inflated food costs soaring, this is the perfect time to use our interactive Eat Well Guide to find locally produced turkey, fruit, vegetables, baked goods, dairy, meat and more, wherever you live."
"When it comes to food, local is best," says Mario Batali, chef/owner of many restaurants in New York City, including Babbo, Lupa, Esca, Casa Mono, Bar Jamn, Otto and Del Posto. "As a chef and as a dad, there's a responsibility that comes with the food I cook and the food we eat. Being thoughtful of where our food comes from, who makes it and how it's made is paramount in all my kitchens.
"The local food movement is about sustainability, broadly defined," Eat Well Guide's Destin Layne said. "This not only means consuming wholesome food that sustains our bodies and spirits, but supporting agricultural practices and distribution networks that sustain family farms and local economies-something that's especially important in these economically uncertain times. Consuming local food also helps to preserve the soil, air and clean water that support life on Earth-something we can all be thankful for!"