There are challenges to becoming a locavore. Finding reliable sources of food that are local may be difficult. The original locavore challenge focused on what was available in a 100-mile radius. These are a few of the challenges that exist in Pennsylvania:
Choices: Are avocados grown in Pennsylvania? How about citrus products? The answer is no. It is not easy to grow warm weather produce in this climate. There are many foods that I eat that aren’t locally grown or produced in Pennsylvania.
Winter: It gets very cold in the winter in Pennsylvania which limits the growing season and food choices. Less options in the winter may impact my ability to be a locavore.
Cost: Buying local can be expensive. Local farmers produce less, therefore the cost is higher than those larger farms that can produce their product on a larger scale. Grocery stores are able to sell foods cheaper than farmers markets.
Travel: It is simply not very convenient to travel to different places to find produce, meat, or dairy products. The grocery store is so convenient because everything is one place. This is not so with everything local.
Sustainability: Farming has been an important occupation in Pennsylvania for hundreds of years, so it makes environmental sense to buy local in this area. There are other places throughout the country where this is not sustainable.
Seafood: I love seafood, so this will be a challenge. Technically, Maryland is less than 100 miles from Central Pennsylvania, so I will be able to eat seafood.
Time: It is going to take a lot of time to research local farms and businesses in the area and to find out what is or is not available. Being a locavore may not be convenient.
Stay tuned for next week when I address some helpful solutions to the problems of becoming a locavore.