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Buying Organic Food: Local, Local, Local!

Finding Healthy Food Wherever You Are

Buying organic food and other good eats locally is not only extra tasty but can also be a powerful bang for our buck. Not only do we get the freshest foods, mostly in season and at better prices, but our health, the environment and local economy thrive too!

When we double down by choosing more natural and organic food from our local supply, we are very likely saying...

YES to foods without added hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, irradiation, artificial ingredients or genetically-modified organisms;
YES to the use of renewable resources and conservation methods for producing our food;
YES to fair labor practices;
YES to humane animal treatment;
YES to more whole foods and less-processed foods;
YES to reducing pollution associated with cross-country food transport;
YES to better prices from cutting the costs associated with transportation, fuel and intermediaries;
YES to supporting our neighbors by sustaining family farms and growing local businesses that provide jobs, taxes, revenues and oh yeah...FOOD!

That's quite lot just for tossing back a handful of scrumptious blueberries from your local farmers market, community garden, CSA program, or farm from down the road or across town.

Are you a small food producer? Check out our resource guide for small food producers and farmers.

And lest we forget the very best part...TASTE! I've lived in a small city, a big city and a rural town, and I can confidently say nothing tastes finer than eating food homegrown or homemade where you are. So whether it's where you live, where you're traveling to or even traveling through, do yourself a favor...find and eat the local food!

We can invest now in better food and better health for our pets while also investing in better businesses attuned to the social and environmental responsibilities that create a more sustainable economy for all of us. Check out favorites below and share your own too!


The What, Why, How & Wow of Finding & Buying Organic Food Locally

Below are Mavenjoy's top picks for tools and resources to help you discover the best in finding and buying organic food and other homegrown eats locally.

Local, Natural and Organic Food Finders

LocalHarvest

The What: LocalHarvest maintains a nationwide directory for sources of sustainable food including local farmers markets, independent farms, CSA's and even restaurants and groceries selling local products, and more!
The Why: LocalHarvest connects local food producers with people interested in finding and buying organic food and local products. Local food businesses are encouraged to register to help reach new customers and help grow the buy local movement. Make sure your favorite local spot or event is registered on LocalHarvest.
The How: LocalHarvest allows you to search its comprehensive database of local providers throughout the country by entering a zip code or city/state. You can search by product category, provider type, or name. LocalHarvest also has an extensive online store offering over 7,000 products from soup to nuts (really!) when you just can't find what you need locally. And if you're a local foods proprietor be sure and join to create a listing profile for your business. All free! 
The Wow: Events Calendar and Ark of Taste Producers
LocalHarvest also provides a handy events calendar for food and farm happenings that is searchable by zip code. And do sign up for their Keep Me Posted feature which keeps you up to date about area events by email.
Plus, LocalHarvest and Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste have teamed up to provide an online directory of local food sources producing Ark Foods

  • Eat Well Guide
    The Eat Well Guide to local, sustainable and organic food is chock-full of handy dandy ways to find sustainable food choices wherever you may be across the United States and Canada. It has extensive search functions, interactive mapping and much more. It's like one of those nesting eggs, there's always more to discover on this site -- enjoy!
    Mavenjoy Extra: Traveling? Eat Well Guide offers fantastic individual, customized
    guides for local farms, restaurants, shops, etc. featuring locally grown foods by city or state or region --
    take one on your next excursion! Road trip? Be sure and let Eat Well Guide map out all the great local spots for sustainable food along your route -- a super sweet tool!

Looking for Organic Grocery Delivery? Check out our Favorite Sources for Organic Foods Online... 

  • EatWild's Grass-fed Directory
    Thankfully a directory to find grass-fed meat and dairy farms in the United States and Canada where animals and the land are treated well and products are free of antibiotics and added hormones. Just click on your state (or Canadian province) to find everything from beef, chicken and pork to venison, goat, and turkey...salmon and more!
    Mavenjoy Tip: Grass-fed dairies are also listed separately by state.
  • **New Listing** Ripe Near Me Your very own food mapping directory for sharing, swapping, selling or buying local produce! Search by category, price (including free!) and ripe or growing. It's just getting started so help it grow buy adding your favorites and own fresh goodies too!

  • Organic Consumers Association / GreenPeople Directory
    The Organic Consumers Association is an online and grassroots non-profit promoting health, justice, and sustainability. Its comprehensive directory allows you to search for green products and services, including organic food, by zip code and varying distances from your location. It also features a helpful compilations of other green directories with descriptions.
  • Local Dirt
    Think of Local Dirt like a virtual farmers market for getting local foods wherever you may be located across the U.S. Whether an individual, a member of a buying club, a business or even a distributor, if you're seeking local food sellers including big and small farms, co-ops and more, Local Dirt connects local food buyers and sellers nationwide and provides online ordering for pick-up locally. You can search by food category, food product, and/or geographical range from your address to find local sellers. Basic membership is free for individuals, small farms, farmers markets and buying clubs; annual membership fees apply to businesses, distributors, medium farms and farm co-ops.
  • Real Time Farms
    Know where your food CAN come from! Find farmers markets, farms, food artisans and restaurants and share your favorites with others too. A crowd-sourced/user-generated directory of information and photos celebrating farm foods across the country. 
    **Update** Closed as of April 2016 but its extensive list of farms is archived here.
  • FarmFoody
    Love, love, love the idea behind Farmfoody. Founder and farmer Tom Davenport likens it to a dating service for farmers and "foodys" by matching your geography and food preferences with producers in the area that offer what you're looking for. He describes "foodys" as customers that wish to establish a relationship with the people and the place that produce their food. A farm is considered any local foods producer including vineyards, pick-your-own, farmers markets and more. Farmfoody also fosters personal connections between all parties keeping "foodys" informed about what's available and happening in their own backyards and lets the local food producers know who's interested--all for free.

Appalachian Grown: Local Food Guide
Got to give a shout-out to a couple of fantastic local food finders for my own backyard region. The Local Food Guide from the 
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project offers an online food guide and directory for family farms, local farmers markets & stands, wineries, restaurants, B&Bs, and so much more for Western North Carolina and the Southern Appalachian Mountain region. Not from 'round here? No problem, it's a beautiful place to visit, come see us! 

And one more southern goodie, a local food guide for my home state from Georgia Organics - search its online directory by category, download the whole guide, or map local food providers in Georgia.



Appalachian Grown: Local Food Guide
Got to give a shout-out to a couple of fantastic local food finders for my own backyard region. The Local Food Guide from the 
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project offers an online food guide and directory for family farms, local farmers markets & stands, wineries, restaurants, B&Bs, and so much more for Western North Carolina and the Southern Appalachian Mountain region. Not from 'round here? No problem, it's a beautiful place to visit, come see us!

And one more southern goodie, a local food guide for my home state from Georgia Organics - search its online directory by category, download the whole guide, or map local food providers in Georgia.

Mavenjoy Extra: Save the Lima Beans?! Christmas Lima Beans, that is. Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste catalogs foods in danger of extinction in order to promote awareness and consumption of them so they're kept in production. These foods include everything from rices and apples to chickens and sausages and everything in between. Be sure and check out what's endangered food in your region and start eating.

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Now Share Your Favorite Local Food Source...

Got a Favorite for Local Foods & Healthy Eats?

Really special local foods are as much about the experience as the taste. And you just know when you've hit on something truly extra special straight from the source that's sustainably produced and better for you and the local community! We're eager to hear about the best of the best...so give a shout-out to a local favorite that you've discovered. Whether it's a happy find while traveling or the pride of home sweet home, enlighten the rest of it so we can string together those amazing local eats from towns and cities across the world.

ENTER the Location & Name of Business and/or Food
EXAMPLES:
Ellijay, GA - Mountain Valley Farm - Grass Fed Beef
Jasper, GA - 61 Main - Sustainable Dining

Favorite Local Food Discoveries...

Click on the links below to read, rate and comment on others' "tried and true" gluten free favorites.

Canton, GA - Cherokee Market Farm Fresh Produce Not rated yet
It's a must to shop or just stop by. Great food, fun people! Mavenjoy replies: And stop by we did...and so glad we did! What a precious market …

Click here to write your own.

Click below to share your own or to read, comment and rate others' favorites!


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