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Author Teaches Us to Eat Local for Less

By Staff | Jun 5, 2015

Author Julie Castillo wants to provide the ultimate guide to “opting out of our broken industrial food system,” with the book “Eat Local for Less.”

During a presentation last week at Four Seasons Books, Castillo described the family experiment that led her to pen the recently released book.

“Around about three years ago, I put my family through a little experiment to see if we could break our addiction to the supermarket,” she said.

She said they embarked on a mission to find meals from local, organic and sustainable sources without breaking the bank.

Believing that the pros of eating locally outweigh the cons, Castillo said she thinks eating locally promotes better nutrition and a healthier natural world.

“You might have read in the news that we have a growing obesity problem Around about 600,00 Americans die from heart disease every year” Castillo said, one of several diseases like obesity and Type II Diabetes that she said are largely preventable with proper diet.

“Is there something possibly about the way that we’re producing food that’s changed?” she said.

“We’re looking at a near future dominated by climate change,” she said.

Again she pointed to industrial food production as a leading environmental detractor.

Castillo’s book serves as a how-to manual for making new choices.

Its not written to persuade, but inform, Castillo notes on her web page.

She qualified her discussion Friday by saying that local food isn’t automatically superior simply because it’s local.

“But one of the things about buying locally is that it gives you the chance to find out for yourself,” she said.

Castillo said she also doesn’t believe local food can or should replace a global food system.

“I think that one of the best things we can do given the future challenges that we have is cultivate many different sources of food,” she said.

She said the global industrial system fails in that it produces food that isn’t particularly good for people or the environment.

“We talking about not scraping it, but fixing it,” she said.

Castillo said the main set back for most people is the perceived higher cost of local and organic food, as many people have been raised in a food culture dominated by artificial prices.

“This is the number one argument I get,” she said.

Castillo used eggs as an example Friday.

Many wonder how $4 eggs from the farmer’s market compete with a $2 dozen from the grocery store.

“They automatically assume that the lower price they pay for the eggs is the fair price,” she said.

Castillo explained that larger-scale producers are subsidized by the government, allowing for lower artificial prices.

“You already paid for some of that in your taxes,” she said.

Castillo encourages readers to explore local CSAs, farmers markets, co-ops and buyer’s clubs, and to plant and grow their own gardens.

“I discovered that you can do it,” she said.

She listed resources for finding local food: coop directory.org; fieldtoplate.com and local harvest.com, among others.

Castillo will next appear in Shepherdstown on June 27 at the Streetfest event.

More information about Castillo and her book can be found by visiting www.eatlocalforlessbook.com.

Castillo’s book is available for sale at Shepherdstown’s Four Seasons Books.