by Jennifer Maiser, Editor
Serious Eats, this week, posted a great article about how to eat locally and sustainably on a budget. While we know from last year's Pennywise challenge that eating locally on a budget is possible, it's also easy to watch the food bills pile up when you're concerned with finding sustainable products for your family's dinner table.
Among the suggestions in the SE article, I especially like the suggestions to cut back on meat consumption, and to buy in season. In season eating offers the best value for local produce, and if you put up or preserve foods while they are in season you can have a version of them throughout the year. In addition to the Serious Eats advice, I would also suggest the following:
1) Subscribe to a CSA. CSA boxes from local farms typically offer a good value for in-season, fresh produce.
2) Get to know your farmers. You're more likely to find out about good deals on your food, and to learn what foods offer the best value that week. Just start by saying hi, asking them about their week, and asking them about the produce. Soon, many will be keeping an eye out for special deals for you.
3) Be smart about your meat purchases. Consider a cow share or meat CSA if it's available in your area (or start your own!). Choose whole chickens over boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Learn to work with odd meat cuts so that you can maximize your dollar when possible.
Jennifer Maiser is the editor of the Eat Local Challenge website. She is often found behind a camera or writing for her site, Life Begins at 30.