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What is localizing, and why does it matter?

Localizing is about eating closer to home. That means buying fresh food from nearby farmers, cooking from scratch, and eating with friends at home.

Localizing is also a verb. If you buy apples and cabbage and goat cheese at the farmers market, that’s localizing. If you bake bread or make a salad at home, that’s localizing. If you invite your friends over for a potluck, that’s localizing too. Localizing is any action that brings you and your friends and your dinner a little bit closer to home.

I firmly believe that localizing can benefit everyone. Buying local ingredients connects us to the seasons, to the people who grow our food, and to each other. It also preserves farmland around our communities, which means preserving access to fresh food – food that is still bursting with flavor and vitamins when we buy it.

Making food from scratch engages our senses and saves money. It connects us to our families as we prepare old recipes passed down from our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. It fosters creativity and flexibility as we adapt a recipe to fit our budgets, or to fit the ingredients available in our region. It’s also a great practical skill, and one worth cultivating.

Eating at home with friends strengthens our relationships, transforms our houses and apartments into homes, and saves money. In trying times, it’s one of the easiest ways to feel a little bit richer, and a whole lot warmer.

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