On November 29, GreenTown hosted an incredible panel of experts, each of whom spoke about the importance of eating locally. Our three speakers, Laura Stec, Peter Ruddock, and Rosalind ‘Ros’ Creasy took us on a journey of discovery, punctuated with laughs and a hearty discussion.
Laura Stec (chef, educator and author specializing in events and products for healthy people and the planet) began the evening by explaining what local actually means and how tricky it can be to define it. It’s often “cheaper”, she said, to package food grown in California in another state or even country—clearly complicating the whole concept of local. Laura went on to talk about how our produce is grown for shipping and not flavor or nutrition and finished by sharing some incredible recipes—she’s a chef after all!
Next up was Peter Ruddock (local food policy expert and historian). Peter spoke about how an economy centered around local food is better for everyone (i.e., local being defined as food where you can drive to the producer, shake his/her hand, and drive home all before dinner). This is better for the consumer, Peter said, because they know exactly where their food comes from and better for the local economy as the benefits returned to the community are 1.78 that of a community based on industrial agriculture.
Ros Creasy (Los Altos resident and internationally known expert and author on edible landscapes) finished the evening and began her talk by sharing produce and products from her garden—including lime-leaf, sugar-snap peas, honey, hops, and persimmon. Ros then moved into a slideshow of her incredible, and ever-changing, edible garden in Los Altos. More than one attendee was motivated to swap out their current landscaping for something more beautiful and edible.
While eating locally may be more complicated than we initially thought, we can all take steps to lower our carbon footprint when it comes to the food we eat. Whether we grow food in our yards or even apartment balconies or shop at our local farmers market, we can all make a difference.