Eat local, seasonal, varied food.
Today is World Food Day, the anniversary of the foundation of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO. We’re celebrating the event with the launch of a global, interactive call for us all to support our local farmers and food producers, cut down on imports and cook with local ingredients.
The Eat Local Challenge is the first phase of Menu For Change, the Slow Food campaign that puts the relationship between food and climate change under the spotlight: our food system makes a massive contribution to our total greenhouse gas emissions, and yet, at the same time, agriculture is also among the first victims. Together with Slow Food communities around the world, we want to find solutions, starting with how food is made and consumed.
We’re confronting the challenge in a variety of ways: telling the stories of our communities, consulting experts and involving chefs, so we can all be as informed as possible about the food we put on our plates.
Let’s start with a first, fundamental point: food that is made locally, sustainably and on a small-scale is crucial if we are to mitigate our impact on the environment. So choosing our food wisely means consuming less energy, producing less emissions and reducing waste. Products which travel long distances, packaged in excessive plastic and often refrigerated in cells with an enormous energy expenditure represent tons of greenhouse gas emissions which could be avoided. A small example: in the West, a meal travels an average of 1900 kilometers from field to fork. By buying local, seasonal food with less packaging, a family could save 1000 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions per year, and eat healthier, more delicious food in the process!
For the next three weeks, over 2000 people across the world are participating in the Eat Local Challenge, meaning they’re committing to:
- Eat two meals a week sourced with local, traditional ingredients
- Eat only free-range meat raised in their region
- Shop at a farmers’ market at least once a week
- Buy no imported food or products made over 200 miles away
People are already publishing videos, recipes, photos and even poems on their social media using the hashtags #MenuForChange #EatLocal #SlowFood and on the Facebook event page.
Choose your pledge, get active and post online, show us the local, seasonal foods from your area, share your local recipes and get others involved!
Helps us to ensure a brighter future for all the Slow Food projects around the world: educational programs in school gardens, community gardens in Africa that guarantee food sovereignty, the protection of biodiversity and the defense of the environment and the traditional artisanal skills, the Alliance between chefs and producers, the communication of a new food culture that is good for consumers, fair to producers, and doesn’t destroy planet. By supporting us, you help us make this change a reality.
#MenuforChange #EatLocal #SlowFood