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A local food conspiracy? Or just dumb luck?

Four things happened last Sunday that radically changed my mindset about locally-grown foods. It almost felt like a conspiracy the way it all came together.

1. At the Hillsdale Winter Famers' Market I picked up a copy of Edible Portland, a gorgeous magazine that  celebrates the bounty of fresh foods produced in the area. Short articles focusing on Spring recipes (finally, an explanation of the mysterious fava bean!) and cooking techniques, interviews with farmers -- it gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling about how lucky we are to live in a region chock-full of good food. The magazine is FREE, but it goes fast. You can find it here or via subscription (it's worth it).

2. Later in the day I came upon this online video produced by the Sierra Club about the 'true' cost of food when it is grown on a factory-type farm and shipped thousands of miles. I don't know what it was (maybe the threatening, gnarly old woman-narrator) but it made me feel sick about the state of conventional farming. (I had to watch the low-resolution video because the high-res kept freezing midway through.)

3. The video affected me so much that I picked up the phone and called Renee. At the market I'd mindlessly grabbed a flyer for a local farm's Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and was now pouring over it. Would she like to split a box of fresh, organic, locally-grown produce with me once a week? Yes.

4. New Seasons had just become a site sponsor over at ReadySetMom.com, so I thought I'd check out their new online shopping. New Seasons is a huge supporter of locally-grown foods, and I filled my cart with products from regional farms. You can read my full shopping review here. Suffice it to say, it was a great experience, I think I'm going to save money on groceries, and support a great business.

I don't think it's possible to exclusively buy locally-grown food, but it seems that we have the good fortune to have so much selection in so many places. What do you think? Do you enjoy shopping at farmers' markets? Is buying local foods something you'd like to do more of, or do you feel that it's too expensive or too time-consuming to shop for it?

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