There’s something neat about eating local food. Somehow food that you have grown, fished, hunted, gathered, or gotten from someone you know is just … better.
But why does it seem better? Pop quiz!
- Do you feel a sense of pride and self-reliance in growing, getting or “putting up” your own food?
- Do you feel local food is somehow more real, more nourishing, and more satisfying?
- Do you value food travelling fewer “food miles”?
- Are you pumped about supporting your local producers and community members?
- Do you appreciate knowing where your food comes from?
- Do you enjoy the social aspects of local food and the learning that is shared?
- All of the above.
For me, it’s “all of the above,” but if you answered “yes” to any of these questions, that sounds like a good enough reason to include some local yumminess in your lunches!
How can we pack local foods into our lunch bags? What we have available to us depends on many variables: where we live, our personal connections, our food storage equipment, and our skills and knowledge.
Here are a few ideas from my own kitchen in Terrace:
- My favourite lunch is simply leftovers from dinner (I mean, if I’m going to cook a great meal, I better get a couple meals out of it, right?). At this time of year, we are working through the last of our local food supplies so dinner, and therefore lunch, might include Haida Gwaii deer, Remo Harvest potatoes (maybe garlic mashed potatoes?), and home canned beets (topped with no-so-local feta cheese and olive oil).
- There are still a couple of squashes on my counter, and while their fate is not yet sealed, I suspect they will make an appearance in a future lunch in the form of a creamy squash soup or spiced squash muffins.
- The cherries and berries in my freezer might be reincarnated into a fruit crisp that would make a nice mid-morning snack at work.
- There’s still a wee bit of jarred salmon that might be nice to have on crackers – an easy snack or lunch to pack when I’m hastily scrambling to work.
Oh, dear! All this writing about food is making me hungry! Better go take a peek at what I’ve got in my lunch today! I hope there’s something local in there!
For more ideas and inspiration, consider checking out the following resources:
- BC Association of Farmers’ Markets: Find great recipes and learn what’s in season this month.
- Produce Preservation Program: Their resources section has lots of great links and FAQs about food preservation.
Northern Health’s nutrition team has created these blog posts to promote healthy eating, celebrate Nutrition Month, and give you the tools you need to complete the Eating 9 to 5 challenge! Visit the contest page and complete weekly themed challenges for great prizes including cookbooks, lunch bags, and a Vitamix blender!
About Lise Luppens
Lise started her career as a dietitian with Northern Health in 2004 when she moved to Terrace "for a year." More than 10 years later, she is now part of the regional population health registered dietitian team and she continues to love living, working and playing in B.C.'s northwest. Lise enjoys playing outside with her husband and friends and you might find her skiing, biking or kiting. She’s passionate about local food, keeps a garden, enjoys local community-supported agriculture (CSA) and farmers market goodies, and carries out food preservation projects.