Locavore Living

By Robert F. Bornstein, PhD and Mary A. Languirand, PhD

Locavores are people who try to eat local food as much as possible. There are many reasons to go locavore: It's a greener lifestyle, supports the local economy, and is a way of giving back to your community. Locavore living can be an important part of aging wisely as well-locavores tend to eat healthier, exercise more, and become more involved and engaged in the community.

Keep in mind that there's no one definition of "locavore"-it means different things to different people. Some locavores only purchase food grown within a 100 mile radius of home, while others broaden the circle (for example, limiting their purchases to food grown in-state). And going locavore isn't an all-or-nothing decision; any steps you take to increase your commitment to locally sourced food will make a difference.

How to get started? Here are some easy ways to begin.

  • Visit local farmer's markets

    You'll be helping keep local growers afloat, and getting the freshest fruits and vegetables possible (along with breads, preserves, and the like). Plus, farmer's markets are social events-you'll make connections with neighbors and area merchants.
  • Be selective

    Some products are easier than others to obtain locally. Apples, root vegetables, lettuce, herbs, and various greens (like swiss chard and kale) can be grown throughout the continental US. If you don't want to go whole-hog locavore, these products can be a good place to start.
  • Talk to your supermarket manager

    Ask where their produce, meat, and dairy come from-and if they might take steps to stock more products grown and raised closer to home.
  • Grow your own

    For a number of years we've planted vegetables each spring, and though we do better some years than others, we've gotten pretty good at cultivating cucumbers, tomatoes, string beans, bell peppers, and scallions, as well as various herbs (basil, parsley, and oregano do especially well in our area).
  • Support those restaurants that support local farmers

    You'll not only be contributing to the wellness of your community, but you'll be eating fresher foods as well.

Robert Bornstein and Mary Languirand are the authors of When Someone You Love Needs Nursing Home, Assisted Living, or In Home Care, published by Newmarket Press. The second edition, revised and updated, was recently released. Here's the link: