Becoming a Locovore
In 2018 the Sustainable Communities programme will be embarking on a ‘Locovore’ journey – exploring the advantages and importance of eating locally produced food. With over 30% of the average New Zealander's eco-footprint coming from food, eating local has huge benefits for our local environment, economy and communities. Eating local dramatically reduces environmental impacts by cutting out travel miles. Usually it also means avoiding overly processed and packaged food products, so its also good our health and reduces waste
So how does one Become a Locovore? Here's some ideas to inspire New Year resolutions:
Buy local. Not only does buying from local producers have a positive impact on our environment, it boosts our local economy. You can support local producers by shopping at a weekend market – held regularly in Ōtaki, Te Horo, Waikanae, Paraparaumu Beach and Paekākāriki.
Join a food co-op. Organic dry goods and fruit/veg cooperatives are operating in Raumati and Te Horo. Co-ops can provide an affordable option for eating organic whole foods. Avoiding pesticides, additives and the packaging of processed food is not only good for the environment, it’s also good for your health. Find out more about the Dream Catcher Co-op and Kāpiti Fresh Co-op.
Grow your own food is as local (and fresh) as you can get, gardening also has great benefits for mental well-being. You can get started following the Green Gardener’s monthly garden tips, and/or establish a garden-bee group - take turns spending a few hours in each other’s backyard to make huge progress in getting your gardens established.
‘Kāpiti Community Garden Parties’ You can also learn from others by joining one of Kāpiti’s Community Gardens. In Autumn 2018, we are excited to be running the augural ‘Kāpiti Community Garden Parties’ series, providing support to help get gardens in shape and inviting local communities to take part in working bees, workshops and a community party! We’ll be releasing the full programme at the end of January. This is an excellent opportunity to come and get involved!
Love Food Hate Waste. New Zealander’s throw away 122,547 tonnes (about $872 million worth) of food a year. That amount of food could feed the population of Dunedin for two years. It takes some time and planning to avoid wasting food, but it’s worth it, you can save a lot of money! Get ideas on our Love Food Hate Waste page. You can set up a simple self-perpetuating cycle of sustainable eating by getting a worm farm or composting your food waste, so it then becomes nutrients for your vegetable garden bed.
Harvest time. If you have a glut of kale, a heaving grapefruit tree or more than you can eat of anything else in your garden there’s plenty of ways to avoid your harvest abundance going to waste.
- Supercook is a great go-to site; type in the ingredients you have and it’ll search major recipe sites across the internet, ordering its finds by how many of your nominated ingredients the recipe includes and telling you what else you’ll need.
- Check out Kāpiti Libraries to learn how to make preserves, fermenting and more.
- Swap stalls, such as the Hākari stall are an excellent way to share the abundance from your garden while also creating a community hub.
- Seasonal Surplus in Ōtaki buy and sell on excess produce, on Thursdays outside the Ōtaki library.
- Here's Greener Neighbourhoods participant Rosalind Dipley's guide to preserving.
Eating seasonally, this is a natural consequence of localism… The trick is working out what is (really) available when and what you can do with it. This can be a big step for those who don’t garden, but there’s a helpful seasonal food chart on the Healthy Food Guide website. And the libraries have a range of seasonal cookbooks, including:
- Shop Local, Eat Well: Cooking With Seasonal Produce in New Zealand by Kathryn Hawkins (641.564 HAW)
- Eat Fresh: Cooking Through the Seasons and The Free Range Cook, both by Annabel Langbein (641.564 LAN) – NZ book
- At its best: cooking with fresh, seasonal produce by Margaret Brooker (641.35 BRO)
- From Season to Season: a year in recipes by Sophie Dahl (641.5 DAH)
- Now is the season by Laura Faire (641.564 FAI)
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: Our Year of Eating Seasonally by Barbara Kingsolver (641.0973 KIN)
Create a New Years Resolution. It might seem too daunting to immediately change your habits – perhaps choose one of the above to try or do more of, or set a fun challenge for yourself and others.
- Try the 100 Mile Diet – challenge your crew to eat locally for a set amount of time (pick the height of summer unless you really like root vegetables). Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (available from Kāpiti Coast District Libraries at 641.0973 KIN), The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon. Moveable Feasts: the incredible journeys of the things we eat by Sarah Murray will provide some inspiration.
- Dream up your own challenge – in previous years the Local Table competition was held in Paekākāriki, where participants made meals with only locally sourced ingredients.
- Acquaint yourself with the Slow Food Movement. Their mission to defend biodiversity in our food supply, spread taste education and connect producers of excellent foods with co-producers through events.