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Local Foods

What you eat says something about who you are, where you are and what time of season it is. Become an Oklavore! When you buy local foods you:

  • get fresher, healthier food for your family
  • support your local farmers and producers
  • build your local community
  • contribute to a healthier planet (less transportation = fewer fossil fuels used to get food from one place to another = less greenhouses gasses and other pollutants).

If something is unavailable locally, think about local alternatives, or sourcing as closely as possible. It’s cheaper in transportation energy to get a product from California, for example, than it is to get it from overseas.

Interest in buying and eating locally is soaring not only among consumers and farmers, but policy makers, government and agricultural researchers. For more information, visit the following websites.

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy promotes resilient family farms, rural communities and ecosystems around the world through research and education, science and technology, and advocacy.

The Kerr Center is focused on finding sustainable solutions to the economic, social and environmental challenges facing Oklahoma’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities. There’s also a quick link on the homepage of the Kerr website labeled OK Sustainable Agriculture/Food Groups that lists 60 more national and state resources on agricultural sustainability.

The Oklahoma Food Cooperative sells over 2,000 food and nonfood products that are made in Oklahoma and delivers them monthly to 17 sites across the state. Through the website, the consumer can find out exactly who produces the food, where it’s grown or raised, and what production practices are used.

The Buy Fresh, But Local guide produced by the Kerr Center and the Oklahoma Sustainability Network features listings for farmers markets by product and by county. Doug Walton at the Kerr Center points to the guide as a “one-stop shop for local food.” The guides are available at local libraries, the Tulsa County Extension Center, Conrad Farms, and a few restaurants that use seasonal, locally produced food; or an electronic version is available at http://kerrcenter.com/pdf/2009-BFBL-GC_FMGuide.pdf.

Sustainable Tulsa also has a local foods section in the green directory at www.tulsagreendirectory.com. You can get involved in the local foods movement by volunteering with Sustainable Tulsa’s Localvores Committee – visit the volunteer button for more information.

Suggested Reading

The Next Green Revolution, by James E. Horne and Maura McDermott

Michael Pollan’s excellent books about food and sustainability:

  • In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
  • The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World
  • Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver, Steven Hopp and Camille Kingsolver

Eat Where You Live: How to Find and Enjoy Fantastic Local and Sustainable Food No Matter Where You Live, by Lou Bendrick

Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets, by Deborah Madison

When looking for books to purchase, please don’t forget to support your local, independent bookstores. Two great “indie” bookstores are in Tulsa, and both are open 7 days a week.

Gardner's Used Books & Comics
4421 S Mingo Rd
(918) 627-7323

Steve's Sundry, Books & Magazines
2612 S. Harvard
(918) 743-3544

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