When was the last time that you really thought about where your food is coming from? Many people are shocked to learn that the average meal is put together with items from five different countries, and that is not to say that you are eating an ethnically diverse meal. Produce travels an estimated 1,500 miles from farm to table, and processed food isn’t moving much less with an average 1,300 mile journey from the factory to the food store.
The locavore movement started out of environmental concerns, but can also play a beneficial role with weight loss efforts. A lot of people were upset by the fact that ten percent of all fossil fuels used are consumed in the transportation of foods. Whether it is coming from a farm or a factory, most food items spend an average of 14 days on a truck before even being offered to a consumer.
Locavores only eat food that is locally grown and produced. That means cutting out all of the excess foods that are shipped from all corners of the earth. Chances are you have seen a semi-truck driving down the highway with a fast-food restaurant name on its side, or you have gone to the food store only to see a massive truck unloading boxes into the back. Michigan is home to some of the country’s best Orchards, but apples at the local food store are often shipped in from South America. Good luck trying to put together a country of origin for the foods in your value meal.
Eating Local Can Help with Weight Loss
Making the decision to eat locally is a big step, but one that can really get you thinking more about what foods you are eating. If you are committed to only eat foods that are from Rochester, or even limit your food intake to those from around Michigan, you will cut out the possibility of grabbing take-out or picking up a bag of chips from the gas station.
Eating local puts a barrier between you and many of the poor choices in your diet, which can help you to lose weight, especially if you replace common snacks with fresh produce that was grown in your neighborhood. Visiting local farms to purchase food is a great way to add exercise to your routine, as well.
Here are a few local resources that you may want to check out as you transition to eating more locally grown foods:
- Picking your own fruit is a great way to connect with nature and get in a bit of exercise. Westview Orchards and Cider Mill is a u-pick farm located in Romeo. This farm features apples, pears, plums, sweet corn and pumpkins as well as breads, jams and maple syrup. The farm has a lot to offer outside of food as well, including an obstacle course, wagon rides, a corn maze and even a 3-acre wide playground.
- Millers Big Red Apple Orchard and Cider Mill is another u-pick farm that also features a produce store in Washington Township. Miller’s has u-pick raspberries available every weekday, and a wide selection of produce and other baked goods available inside. This farm also features a few fun activities, including a petting farm, rock wall and corn maze.
- Yates Cider Mill is located right here in Rochester Hills. This farm features a variety of treats including apple butter, jams and jellies, apple cider and roasted almonds. Take the kids with you, Yates also offers pony rides!
Even if you are not interested in transitioning to a 100% local diet, becoming more active in your community and purchasing food from the farms down the street provides a great opportunity to get more exercise and have a little bit of fun.