How to be a Successful Eat Local Challenger

PLAN!: Us seasoned Challengers know one thing about the Eat Local Challenge, it's all about planning. If you try to start on Saturday and haven't given the Challenge much thought, you will quickly see that you haven't set yourself up for success. 

Start by thinking about your staples. What can you replace with local products? Salt - Real Salt, flour - Central Milling flour and Lehi Roller Mills products are often available at COSTCO, eggs - Clifford Family Farms, dairy - Redmond stores have local raw milk and dairy products made from their milk, meat - there are many local meat producers - check out this resource list for info, honey - Clifford Family Farms is available at local stores like Liberty Heights Fresh, Caputos, etc.

Local fruits and veggies might be the easiest to find, and there is so much in season! If you are unable to make it to the Downtown Farmers Market at Pioneer Park there are a variety of other shopping options: roadside stands (Tagges Famous Fruit, Harward Farms, etc), farmers markets around the state (see this map to find one in your area), or many local grocery stores carry local produce this time of year (try Liberty Height Fresh, Harmons, The Store, etc). 

Once you have stocked up on the basics, it is time to get creative. It can be hard to find recipes that include only local ingredients, so being flexible is important. If your recipe calls for rainbow chard you might have to use your beet greens, or sub kale for collards, or turnips for carrots. It is okay. And, we promise when you are using fresh local ingredients your food will be delicious.

KEEP IT SIMPLE: The key to being successful at the Eat Local Challenge is to keep it simple. Don't overthink your meals. For instance an easy breakfast might be a slice of sourdough toast (homemade or from Bread Riot, Abigails Oven or Crumb Brothers) with bacon and a fried egg (Clifford Family Farms) - all of which you can get at the farmers market. You could add a side of greens, or a couple slices of a Green River Melon. Or if you prefer a light breakfast you could have a bowl of Milk Honey Yogurt with peaches from Smith Orchards or mixed fruit. Think BLTs, fresh green salad, or veggies with Laziz Hummus for lunch. And dinner? Why not some Tankinz Noodles with a fresh tomato sauce with heirloom tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil (all in season and available at any farmers market)? Or, fresh burgers topped with Beehive Cheese, Cache Canning pickles, and a tomato jam from Amour Spreads, a big green salad and/or throw some fresh corn on the grill while you are at it. Eating local doesn't have to be fancy, but it is almost always yummy.

SHOP AT FARMERS MARKETS: Maybe you don't have time to go to the grocery store, and read every label or every sign. Or, you can't think about every purchase you are making, and find out the products origins. That's okay. An easy way to support local producers, take out the middle man (and put more money directly into the food producer's pocket), and not have to overthink every purchase is shopping at farmers markets. Farmers markets vet their vendors, and ensure that the products you are buying are grown, raised or made by a local producer. You can buy from the vendors at your local farmers market, and know that you are buying/supporting local. BONUS: often you get to meet and connect with the person that has grown, raised or produced the food you are buying. Win win.

OTHER RESOURCES: Still not sure where to begin? Check out these resources to find out where to find local products.