This summer, food co-ops and shoppers nationwide shared their passion for local foods in the second annual Eat Local, America! challenge.
The challenge, sponsored by National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) -- a business services cooperative for 112 retail food co-ops -- was held at participating member stores between June and September.
Thousands of people joined the challenge by committing to eat more local foods. Seasoned 'locavores' were encouraged to make four out of five meals local while 'newbies' were encouraged to target five meals per week made only with local ingredients.
Local co-ops adapted the challenge to meet their communities’ needs, celebrating with activities ranging from harvest dinners to farm tours to local cooking classes.
“Food co-ops have always supported local growers," said Robynn Shrader, chief executive officer, NCGA. “Supporting local food is good for the economy, because money from each transaction stays in the region. It connects consumers to the people who produce the food they eat, and helps support family farms. Those values are important to food co-ops and to co-op shoppers.”
“Eat Local, America! celebrates the richness and diversity of our regional food supplies," Shrader added. "We’re thrilled that more and more consumers are enjoying the flavor and freshness of local food.”