In Nashville, Tennessee, a local woman is inspiring those around her to eat only local food for the month of August. Mary Crimmins is a local food activist and farmer’s market manager who is hoping to spread the word about eating locally through her blog, Conscious Kitchen, and by issuing the Eat Local Challenge.
She has set aside the month to challenge others to join her in only consuming local food. For the purposes of the challenge, local food is described as anything cultivated within 150 miles. Those taking part in the challenge are consuming local food for 90% of their diet, only relying on non-local food for basic staples that cannot be found anywhere else. Taking part in the challenge does not mean cooking every night, however! Eating out is allowed – as long as you are frequenting locally owned and operated restaurants with local menu choices.
The response to Mary’s challenge has been widespread. Several active families in the Nashville area have responded eagerly, and Mary has seen a response from families in California, Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina. Not bad for the first year of a grassroots movement! Mary has created a Facebook group for those participating in the challenge, and it is updated several times daily by Mary and others posting their local finds and the delicious meals that they have created from local fare.
It is not too late to join Mary in the Eat Local Challenge and dedicate a month to consuming local food. On her blog, Conscious Kitchen, Mary encourages her followers to eat locally and support local food on a daily basis.