By Christie Munson and Nicole Buehring
Throughout the month of February, Wilson College hosted the FRESH (Finding Responsible Eating Strategies for Health) Series. It included many events dedicated to the promotion of healthy eating behaviors. One such event featured Julie Castillo, an author and professor who wrote Eat Local for Less: The Ultimate Guide to Opting Out of Our Broken Industrial Food System. Castillo gave a presentation on her book, which outlines the benefits and the how-to’s of eating locally.
Witty and down-to-earth, Castillo suggested that perhaps the “romance has gone out of your relationship with food.” People no longer grow ripe, flavorful tomatoes in their backyard. That practice has been replaced by large corporate supermarkets with questionable produce that could have come from anywhere in the world. By writing Eat Local for Less, Castillo hoped to alleviate this problem by giving suggestions on how to transition to eating locally-produced food.
These tips suggested buying what is cheap and in season, finding or creating recipes for what you have rather than trying to fulfill an existing recipe, buying directly from farmers (or becoming a CSA member, like our very own Fulton Farm), making meals in bulk, freezing and preserving leftovers, eating less meat, and of course, growing food in your own backyard.
After Castillo’s presentation, a taste test was held. Participants compared the taste of raw, farm-fresh carrots, spinach, and milk to that of their store-bought counterparts. The results were impressive; the majority of people could clearly taste the difference and even preferred it.
The same taste test and survey will be held again at the Wilson College Health Fair next month. So, if you would like to taste the difference yourself and learn more about switching to a local diet, come to the health fair.