The Locally Grown Food Diet: Sample Meal Plan

The Locally Grown Food Diet is based on the book “Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally” by Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon. They began an experiment in 2005, whereby they agreed to eat only food grown or produced within 100 miles of their home.

Locally Grown Food

There are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. Why become a locavore? Here’s why: it’s sustainable, healthy, delicious, interesting and challenging. This diet is not for convenience-food lovers. But if you’re a foodie, this is the eating plan for you. Eating locally can be time consuming, but very rewarding. Picture every meal you eat being thoughtfully crafted. Imagine fresh eggs, just-picked herbs, rich honey and brand-new potatoes. While gathering the food you eat involves some planning, you will be surprised to find how close fresh food really is to your home. And you may develop relationships with the people who take growing your food as seriously as you take finding and preparing it.

Food travels great distances–up to 3,000 miles–from the place it’s grown to the meal that fills your plate. That distance is growing too, up 25 percent since the 1980s. When you buy food from your local chain grocery store, chances are that your food comes from pretty far away. You may be buying strawberries from Mexico and tomatoes from Guatemala. That takes fuel–fossil fuel that pollutes the environment. Even the fuel itself may come from a great distance.

Foods to Eat

That depends on where you’re from. If you’re near the ocean, you get seafood; near the prairies, you get fresh beef, venison, buffalo and lamb. You eat what’s in season and the best part is that you’ll have an adventure as you discover what grows in your area. For example, did you know that Colorado grows spectacular peaches? You can find blackberries the size of your thumb along abandoned railroad tracks just outside Portland, Oregon.

In order to stay on this diet you may have to learn new ways to cook. If you follow the diet strictly, you won’t be able to use things like olive oil or salt. You might also have to forgo things like wine, sugar, chocolate and coffee.

The Benefits

One of the most beneficial aspects of this diet is that you’ll learn more than you ever imagined about the area where you live. Your diet will be fresh and healthy and you might lose weight. You’ll also support your local economy and it will help you appreciate where your food comes from.

Sample Menu

Granted, this menu will vary slightly depending on where you live. If certain products aren’t available to you, make appropriate substitutions.


  • Yogurt with locally grown fruit and honey. If you live in an area where nuts are grown, such as almonds or pecans, throw in a handful of those.
  • Omelet with sage and cheese


  • Locally produced cheese sandwiches, cucumber salad tossed with fresh dill and a splash of buttermilk
  • Garlicky dandelion greens with local mushrooms


  • Poached chicken medallions with wine cream sauce
  • Cream of asparagus soup


  • Fresh berries with warm honey and cream
  • Maple custard

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