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The Locavore Experiment

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No chocolate. No bananas. No beer. Not a single orange or a slice of bread. And worst of all, no cookies. At the start of my local-food eating challenge, I'm focusing on the have-nots rather than the haves.

For one week, I will only eat foods grown within a three-hour drive of Memphis. I will be a "locavore," which according to Wikipedia, is "someone who eats food grown or produced locally or within a certain radius such as 50, 100, or 150 miles."

Voted the New Oxford American Dictionary's Word of 2007, the "locavore" movement has gained popularity as a way to reduce the mileage from farm to plate, thus curbing one's carbon footprint. Produce also begins losing nutrients once it's plucked from the ground, so eating local means fresher, more healthful foods.

"Local food tastes better, and it's better for you," Melissa Peterson, editor of local food magazine Edible Memphis, tells me. "It supports local farm families and protects food diversity."

Though some locavores opt to eat within a very confined radius, such as the "100-mile diet" promoted by local-eating advocates Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon (read about it in their book Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally), my boundaries are determined by the availability of regionally produced tofu.

Read the rest of Bianca Phillips' story here.

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