The sustainable food movement had a good year in 2011:
- The "local' food industry had doubled from 1999 to 2009 and is estimated to be worth $7 billion in the United States in 2011
- Restaurants are going "hyperlocal" by growing food in restaurant gardens - some behind restaurants and others on the roof (we had one restaurant garden on our 2011 Annual City Farm and Garden Tour - 116 Crown in New Haven)
- Do-it-yourself canning, pickling and preserving - learning how to preserve fresh food through the winter is a great way to keep your diet local year-round!
- There are more community gardens and urban farms than ever, and, say what you will about the economy, consumers want to support them.
- Farmers occupied Wall Street making the same demands for a political system that supports people, not corporations
Do you have any 2012 New Year's Resolutions? The most common answers are some combination of "lose weight", "live more healthfully", "spend more time with friends and family"
I have some good news, all of these resolutions lend themselves to eating local and organic!
We like these resolutions, they can make you happier, healthier, and thinner (if you're concerned about that)
- Eat in. I like this recommendation to lay off the take-out, and try making your own bread. If you're really inept at cooking, look for some cooking classes in your area, more restaurants are offering them as a way to bring customers into their kitchens!
- Start a garden! It's not too hard (we're here to help!), you can save money on food, help the environment and you'll have a healthy food source in your yard!
- Share your resolutions with other people, make sustainable dinners for your family and friends, bring them to the local farm where you buy your produce!
- Buy a share in a CSA, contact farms now to see when you should buy your shares and to see if you can reserve one (some CSAs have already sold out their shares for 2012)
Here's to 2012!