edible columbia table at farmers market

Eat, Drink, Think. Local.

As a wellness professional and the editor of Edible Columbia, one of the most common questions I get asked is “why is is so important to eat local?”  The truth is, there is no exact definition of what local means,so it is confusing as to what it means to eat local. What we do know is that local foods have less miles on them, and therefore less time to breakdown, less need for additives, preservatives, freezing, etc. which decreases the nutrient density and adds chemicals to your diet. And of course, local foods and are fresher than foods coming from other states (or countries!), so they taste so much better! So where do you begin to become a locavore? Here are 4 things you should do RIGHT NOW to stay in the know.

1. Starting reading Edible Columbia

Edible Columbia is the region’s only magazine that celebrates local food. Every issue includes a list of what’s in season, recipes using seasonal ingredients, places to dine and shop local. You can subscribe to our newsletter  and follow us on social media for people, places, and things local and fresh. Join our locavore community!

Edible columbia magazine cover

2. Know what grows locally during the season.

Columbia is surrounded by farms and has great growing seasons! Most South Carolinians know summer is tomato and watermelon season, but there is so much more growing right now.  Check out our ‘What's in Season’ before you go shopping so you know what is local and fresh as you prepare your produce shopping for the week.

Boy sitting on dad's shoulders at the farmer's market

3. Know your farmer, know your food.

Shop at farmer’s markets, and talk to your farmer. Understanding where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised is an important part of taking control of your health! It also helps sustain our economy. Agribusiness is South Carolina’s biggest industry, so eating local keeps South Carolina growing. Our Department of Agriculture manages the Certified SC grown program which allows consumers to easily identify South Carolina products using an app!

4. Cook and eat at home.

You’re up and out Saturday morning, buying all the local produce, fresh eggs and meat, get home (very proud of yourself for shopping local!) and unload groceries.  A week later, you’re throwing everything you purchased in the compost bin! If cooking 7 days a week seems daunting, start with a few days a week and and fill in those other days with local, healthy prepared meals, like those from Terra Kotta Farms.

Our wellness issue will hit the streets June 15th, and is full of seasonal recipes and stories about how to live well, locally.  You can pick up a copy at any of these locations.  Have questions about eating local? Send me an email at jacquelyn@ediblecolumbia.com

Jacquelyn McHugh, Owner/Editor of Edible Columbia

Jacquelyn McHugh, Owner/Editor of Edible Columbia

Originally from South Florida, Jacquelyn has worked professionally in athletics, wellness, and education for over 15 years.  From athletic training, sport and clinical nutrition, and wellness coaching, Jacquelyn has a long history of helping people improve their health and compete at their top level.  She started Edible Columbia and Edible Charleston in April 2017 as an advocate for good food, community wellness, and healthy eating in South Carolina. When not cooking or eating, Jacquelyn spends time with her husband and chasing their two boys, enjoying the outdoors, and making the world a better place for them to live in.