1. Eat low on the food and marketing chain by buying direct from farmers.

Several studies have shown that on average food travels for hundreds of miles before it reaches our plate. In a week-long (or more) delay from harvest to dinner table, sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink, and produce loses its vitality.

2. Stick with organic or sustainably-grown produce when possible.

According to a 2003 University of Washington study, children who ate only organic produce had one-sixth the level of pesticides in their bodies of those who ate conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Here’s the latest research on why eating organics is good for your personal health, and the health of the environment.

3. Shop at farmers’ markets!

They’re great places to buy all kinds of food, and you can meet farmers in your community.

4. Join a CSA.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, which is a long name for a “subscription” to a weekly box of fruits, vegetables and meats produced by a local farmer. Find one near you on our online Good Food Guide.

5. Eat at restaurants that procure from and support local farmers. 

And ask your server where the restaurant ordered its food. Find great restaurants that support growers near you on our online Good Food Guide.

6. Many larger grocery stores now carry local, organic food. 

Whole Foods, Kroger, and Publix are just three of them. Ask the folks at your grocery store whether they have a local food section.

7. Community gardens are excellent places to find and grow local foods.

They offer educational tours, courses, and workshops.

8. If you can, grow your own!

It doesn’t take much space to grow your own herbs, and vegetables. And if you have enough space for a bona fide garden, even better. And backyard chicken coops can keep you in steady supply of delicious, fresh eggs year round.

9. Support local growers through online marketplaces.

The Locally Grown network has 116 chapters in Georgia (and growing!) and

10. Shop smart.

Read labels, and if you find an ingredient that you are pretty sure Grandma didn’t use, it’s probably not sustainable, and definitely not produced by a local family farm.