FOOD FOR THOUGHT...
The Eat Local First campaign strengthens Olympic Peninsula farms and producers by engaging the community through education, promotion and access to build a diverse and vibrant local food economy.
The food we have here could match any spot in the world known for culinary experiences. Sweet squash of every kind, heritage turkeys, earthy beets, tart greens and flavors preserved from the summer months like berries, tomatoes, and peaches! We have fresh oysters from the Sound, pastured pork, and enough creameries to make a cheese lovers heart melt.
We are home to some of the best ingredients, food and added-value culinary artisans. Uniting Taste Tourist (consumers) with local growers, added-value producers, and restaurants on this same quest is known as the Eat Local First (ELF) initiative.
The Olympic Culinary Loop has long celebrated the region's pioneers of local, seasonal and sustainable YUM. Recently we've been meeting with a group of like-minded thinkers, combining: Farmers Markets, Food Coops, farmers, restaurants and policy strategists from around the Puget Sound to help frame this conversation in actionable ways that address all participants of the food-chain:
Consumers | Growers | Producers | Resturants
For the consumer - What would happen if you took the plunge into Eating Local First? Consider taking this pledge.
TAKE THE PLEDGE:
What would your market basket and your plate look like if you accepted this challenge?
- I pledge to use and showcase at least one local ingredient in my weekly meals
- I pledge to try at least one new local ingredient each season this year
- I pledge to taste - and share my taste notes - about one local added-value food product this year
- I pledge to purchase a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share or shop at least once for as many of my weekly items at the farmers market and local food coop, each season of this year
- I pledge to eat at a locally owned restaurant for at least outing, asking about their local, fresh and sustainably sourced fare.
For the Farmer & Restaurant -
Choosing locally grown, foraged or caught products can attract customers with:
- More flavor and freshness
- Creative and impressive LOCAL presentation
- Supporting local farms and economy
- Is better for the environment
An existing first step in this initiative is taking place in Jefferson County, where Growers and Restaurants are meeting to figure out "Win-Win" solutions for delivering more local food to diners forks. Stay-tuned for updates of these exciting efforts:
WHAT IS LOCAL FOOD?
LOCAL FOOD = FOOD THAT IS GROWN, RAISED OR PRODUCED IN
Jefferson, Mason, Clallam, Island, Kitsap or Grays Harbor Counties
“Locally grown” refers to food and other agricultural products (for example, wool or flowers) that are grown or produced, processed and then sold. There’s no standard definition of “local” and it isn’t officially monitored. We like to define “local” as food that is grown, raised, or produced in Jefferson, Mason, Clallam, Island, Kitsap or Grays Harbor Counties. We adopted this definition because we have an abundance of food available in our little corner of the world and because local food is more than just measuring food miles – it’s getting to know farmers, fisherman, and food producers here in our backyard.
Check back for all the delicious details! In the meantime, let us know what you think about Olympic Peninsula's Eat Local First efforts?