I consider myself to be a person who has pride in "being a local". As a resident of Upstate New York for the past twenty-one years of my life (part time Albany, part time Ithaca), I have developed an affinity of what it means to be a true Adirondack lovin, buffalo chicken eatin, flannel wearin, "Upstate New Yorker". From trudging through banks and banks of snow in the winter, to constantly engaging in the same old conversation, "Yes I'm from NY...No, NOT the city", you can say that I wear the title of being a "local" like a badge of honor.
And while I wear this so called badge, year round, there is one time of year that I am really proud to be a local Upstate New Yorker. And that time of year, is the season of Fall. Fall is hands down my favorite season, and all of my favorite things about Fall are made possible because I live in Upstate New York. The crisp air, and the beautiful, colorful leaves, I simply cannot get enough. You just don't get that in Florida or other parts of the country!
My absolute favorite part about Fall, has got to be the food. I am a self proclaimed pumpkin addict. Once Fall comes around, it's my go to excuse to consume everything, and all things pumpkin. Pumpkin lattes, pumpkin baked goods of all varieties, and my all time favorite, pumpkin pie. And there's also apples, squash, and many more. There's nothing that excites me more than to make a huge batch of butternut squash soup or brew up some hot, spiced cider.
If these are also your favorite fall foods, and you were at Towers dining hall Thursday night, then you were in for a treat! Thursday night at Towers we celebrated our Local Harvest Fest where we celebrated the Fall season by serving delicious local food! We had roast pork from Purdy and Sons, Cheese and Chive mashed potatoes from Finger Lakes Fresh, apples from Beak and Skiff, and pumpkin ice cream from Perry.
We asked students who attended why they liked to eat local food, or as we put it, "eat like a local". We got many answers such as, to better the community, or to know where the food was grown. All of these answers are so great, and so true! Eating local does a variety of awesome things!
- It helps support local community members, and the local economy.
- It reduces the amount of miles the food travels, which reduces C02 emissions
- It gives consumers more information about where their food comes from
- it allows people to eat seasonally
A great way to ensure you are eating locally is to eat seasonally. Eating seasonally means eating the foods that your region grows each season. This helps to foster the habit of eating locally because by choosing to eat seasonally, by default, you won't choose to eat foods that are out of season. These foods often have to be shipped from far away, from locations where it can be grown year round.
Want to "eat like a local". (And seasonally) Here's how:
- Go to the Ithaca Farmer's Market. It's all local, all the time here. http://www.ithacamarket.com/
- Attend Apple Fest. No better way to eat seasonally, than going to a festival promoting just that. This year it's the first week in October: http://www.downtownithaca.com/events/view/27th-annual-downtown-ithaca-apple-harvest-festival.html
- Support local community members: By local from local folks:
So go out at celebrate your "local" badge by eating locally and seasonally!
-"Upstate New Yorker" Kat
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