Are you the first to show up at your local farmers market? Can you spend hours telling others about the unique flavors of a vine-ripened tomato? If you answered 'yes' to either of these questions, you might be in love with local food.
Don’t worry, as far as love obsessions go, it’s healthy, says National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services cooperative for 119 natural food co-op grocers nationwide.
And, as growing season takes root across the nation, NCGA encourages people to choose local by participating in the Eat Local, America! initiative online(www.eatlocalamerica.coop) and at their local food co-op.
Not sure where your love falls on the "local food" scale? Here are a few signs that you might just be obsessed:
- You’ve invited your co-op’s produce manager over for dinner, and then asked him to cook.
- You don’t own any shares of blue chip stock, but you are a proud owner of your food co-op and shareholder in your local farmer’s CSA.
- You have more pictures of your chicken coop than your family on your Facebook page.
- After a stressful week, you treat yourself to “retail therapy” by buying pickling cucumbers by the bushel.
- You inadvertently started a “grass-stained jeans” fashion trend by obsessively weeding your vegetable garden.
- You’ve never changed your oil, but you have milked a cow.
- You’ve had your picture taken with your favorite local farmer (or, at the least, asked them to sign your eggplant.)
- You define “fast food” as handfuls of berries or sweet peas picked and devoured straight from the plant.
- You've tried so many local cheeses that your co-op started a Cheese Club in your honor.
- You signed up for your co-op's class on canning and preserving in a quest for that 'just picked flavor' year-round.
Whether you're a seasoned locavore or just starting to explore the many benefits of local food, the Eat Local, America! initiative welcomes you!