What Does “Local Food” Really Mean?
Eating/sourcing local food refers to a method of food production and distribution that is geographically localized (versus nationally or internationally). Food that is “local” is food that is grown (or raised) and harvested close to your home and distributed in shorter distances than in the conventional global food system.
March is dedicated to Local Sourcing at Serendipity Catering (Serendipity Catering Sustainability 2018 Calendar): Serendipity Catering supports using locally sourced (and sustainable) foods for our menus whenever possible. We believe in selling food that we trust and know, ensuring that you have the highest quality for your catering needs.
From the Eyes of Serendipity Catering: Eat Colorado Food Show
Serendipity Catering attended the Eat Colorado Food show this month to learn more about local food sourcing from some of Colorado’s most innovative food distributors and producers. The showcase featured special expert seminars and exhibits from more than 120 local producers/distributors of produce, grains, meats, spirits, baked goods and more. Here’s what our staff have to say:
“The Colorado Food Show was amazing! I was pleased to experience so many locals vendors and delicious treats. It’s great to see how vibrant the food community is in Denver. I was also amped that Scraps Composting and Denver Food Rescue were both present. It’s fun to eat tasty local food and know how it’s grown or made, but it’s also important to remember the ecology of our food system and care about where food waste goes. It’s a full, delicious circle!”
Lisa | Logistics and Sustainable Project Manager
“The Colorado Food Show was pretty incredible. It was awesome to see Colorado come together and showcase all of our amazing local products. I also loved that there is a lot of care going into protecting our environment. Overall, there was amazing food, products and lots of learning!”
Amory | Director of Human Resources and Business Development
Ready to eat Locally?
With spring just around the corner, Colorado seasonal produce will soon be in abundance! At Serendipity, we love incorporating fresh spring crops into our menus when they are available (check out the Serendipity Catering 2018 spring menu!). There are many benefits of eating local food, so before you make your next trip to the grocery store, you should consider:
- Eating Fresher Food | Chances are that you are buying produce that has been picked within 24 hours of your purchase at local markets. Crops that are grown locally are harvested at their peak ripeness ensuring that they are full of natural vine-ripened flavor versus being harvested early (in order to account for longer shipping and distribution times when shipped nationally or internationally).
- Supporting Colorado | Did you know that on average, for every dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy? Supporting local farmers, growers and producers comes full circle: money spent locally is reinvested with businesses and services in the community. Plus, you are helping to create a more enriched social community: the people who grow your food are your neighbors!
- Eating Seasonally | Eating local means you are eating the best seasonal produce available. Not everything is available all year round, so local food is almost always at its most abundant, most affordable and at its peak (full of flavor and nutrients)
- Supporting Sustainability | You are reducing your carbon footprint by eating locally—some foods literally travel thousands of miles nationally/internationally to reach you. But by buying local foods, you are eliminating your need for food to be shipped far distances. Buying locally also means supporting local farms which means you are supporting undeveloped land for farmland, green and/or open spaces. Many local farmers, growers and producers are also supporters of sustainable business practices beyond eliminating their carbon footprint and supporting land conservation.
- Eating Safer Food | Contamination is more likely if there are more steps and travel between you and your food source. By buying food locally, you know where your food is grown! Local growers can tell you exactly how your food is grown, including the practices used, when harvest was done, who grew it and more. Knowing the story of where your food came from not only makes eating it more enjoyable, but in many ways also safer.
Check out the ways you can support local eating:
“Collaboration is key in this industry, and building and maintaining local relationships is vital for continued growth for our businesses and our consumers. Local food sourcing is what makes Colorado go round. When we support each other and promote each other’s product (and hard work), we are able to thrive both independently as businesses and as a community. We are able to offer our consumers high quality, safe, and sustainably sourced food–ultimately, giving them peace of mind knowing that they’re providing healthy and natural products for their families. Helps us all sleep a little better at night, right?!” –Polidori Sausage (Denver, CO)
- Know where your food is coming from by buying from local Colorado businesses. Do not be afraid to do your research and ask questions. Check out some of our favorite local (and sustainable) vendors.
- Spring is almost here which means spring crops will be growing a plenty! Visit your local farmers’ market to get yummy food and learn more about local farming in Colorado.
- Consider joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)! CSA is a system used to help farmers connect directly to consumers (also known as farm shares). In Colorado, they tend to run from June to October–learn more, here.
- Growing your own food is the ultimate way to eat locally! Get tips on starting your own organic garden, here!