One of my interests is local farming. Living in the metro Seattle area, it's getting harder and harder to find any open land left for farming, even though most of this region started out as farming communities. The statistics regarding how far the food we eat must travel before it gets to our plates are frightening. The fuel cost alone to transport our food is huge and surely adds to our country's dependence on foreign oil, while it reduces our personal independence and ability to feed ourselves and our community.
One small way that we can contribute to lessening America's need for oil, while eating healthier and supporting our local farmers is to do our best to eat as much local produce, dairy, meat, etc. as we can. That can be a big challenge, (as you can see in the article which is linked below) but it's a fun one if you take the right attitude.
One way we've found to move towards this goal is by becoming members of a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group. We get a delilvery of fresh, mostly local, fruit and veggies every two weeks. That's enough for the two of us, but you can order weekly delivery if you'd like. We get organic produce that is fresh and delicious. We are exposed to different vegetables that we haven't tried before and the farmer provides us with recipes and instructions on how to prepare and store them. Plus, we are helping to keep a local farm family working and increasing their business. They also partner with other local people to offer locally baked bread, honey, beef, and organically grown, fair-trade coffee. It's not a lot, but it's a first step towards getting some sanity back in our lives. (Washington is the Apple State, so why do we buy apples from around the world when you can get delicious, locally grown apples here?)
Check out this amusing, but insightful article as a British man trys to eat only local food for two weeks! How I Lived Off the Land