The Locally Grown Food Diet is one which requires that all food ingested by the dieter is grown within a 100-mile area of where she lives. An amazing amount of energy, especially fossil fuel, is conserved by not transporting food over long distances to deliver to the various regions around the country. Vitamins and minerals are also far better conserved with locally grown products because they are eaten in such a timely manner; they don’t sit on a delivery dock waiting to get to the market.
Some locally grown foods should be avoided on this plan. There are no “bad” locally grown foods; the products to avoid are based on processing and seasonal timing rather than specific food items. Here are four foods to stay away from while on this diet plan:
1. Processed Food
Processed food can contain specific ingredients that are not found locally but are included in a locally made food. This breaks the
basic Locally Grown Food Diet rule. Be sure that any processed food that is eaten contains only local ingredients and that the product is made locally.
2. Out-of-Season Produce
Produce that is “out-of-season” should be avoided. If it is not “in season,” it has been shipped into the area and is not
“locally grown.” If you reside in New England, strawberries and zucchini in December are absolutely not locally grown. On the
other hand, if you live in southern California, go ahead and indulge in a fresh fruit salad in February. Shop at a local farmer’s
market to be sure the dietary rules are followed.
So called “exotic” foods are rarely grown locally, unless it is a greenhouse growing situation for these foods. Bananas and pineapples do not typically grow in New England but can be harvested in a climate controlled greenhouse to keep them “local.”
4. Boxed Items
Avoid mass produced, boxed and packaged items such as processed cookies, crackers, dairy products, coffee and chocolate. The bottom line about foods to avoid on this particular diet is simple; if it isn’t wholly grown within 100 miles of where you live, do not eat it.
While the Locally Grown Food Diet does provide healthy food choices because processed, sugary choices are eliminated, it can be a challenge to keep food choices interesting. Remember, where you live determines your dietary choices. Avoid the above foods, and you will be in compliance with the plan.