This week (September 8 – 15, 2007) is the Lansing Area Localvore’s Eat Local Challenge.  Based on the 100 Mile Diet, more than 200 Lansing area residents signed up to spend this week eating foods grown and raised within (approximately) 100 miles.

Why eat local?  For me, it’s about supporting local businesses and trying to eat a more healthful diet.  Our food travels, on average, 1,500 miles to get to our plates.  Why not try and eat as local as possible, save a few trees and maybe discover some local producers of food that you love here in town.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and the Michigan Food & Farming Systems is sponsoring a “Buy Fresh, Select Local” Farmer’s Market today (September 13, 2007) on the East Lawn of the State Capitol.  I’ll be heading down in a few minutes to join up with at least one other local blogger  to check it out.  If you are in the area, join us or if not, make sure you check out your local farmer’s market this weekend and try eating local.  To find out where, check out the Michigan Farmers’ Market Association site.

Not sure eating local is a good choice for you or the community?  Check out this article from Lansing’s City Pulse where buying locally grown foods is highlighted as being economical, nutritional and a key part of community building.

Now that you’re convinced eating local is a great idea, why don’t you clean out your cupboards and make a donation to the local food bank?  Nearly 1 million Michigan residents accessed a food bank in 2006 – that’s almost 10% of Michigan residents who needed help filling stomachs last year.  Here in the Lansing area, check out the Greater Lansing Food Bank or even start up your own food drive.