Essay Contest Runner Up: A Locavore Love Story By Lillian Dickerson

6 Jul

This spring, NOFA-NY held the first ever Locavore Essay contest.  We asked our community what it meant to take on the challenge of eating locally and organically.  While it was tough to choose, we decided on a winner whose piece (and it’s a great one) will be published in the fall “Locavore Challenge” issue of New York Organic News.  The winner has also received $50 worth of books from Storey Publishing and a year’s subscription to Taproot Magazine.  

We’re publishing some of the contest runners-up here on the blog to encourage and incite you to embrace local and organic at this very moment and forever more!  These essays do not necessarily represent the opinions of NOFA-NY, its staff, or any of its certified organic or farmers pledge farms.  We hope they give you plenty to think about and discuss!

A Locavore Love Story
By Lillian Dickerson

Locavore. Someone who eats local, and mostly, organic, foods. Passionate about the environment. Empathetic to the small farmer’s plight. Aware of the risks of GMOs and growth hormones. A Locavore lives with these tenets ingrained into his being. Without them, his identity is insecure. Locavores don’t just think about food as a means of fuel and sustenance. Food is an essential component of the world around us – how we conduct our business, feed our families, and treat the other human beings sharing our ecosystem. When I buy bread, I consider where the grains came from, who cultivated the fields, how the wheat was separated from the chaff, and how many miles it had to travel (and how much fuel was expended) in order for it to reach my hands.

A field of sweet corn ripening for hungry locavores to enjoy.

A field of sweet corn ripening for hungry Locavores to enjoy.

The Locavore cherishes food in its due season. A ripe strawberry at the end of June has a satisfying, succulent quality that cannot be achieved from ones picked under-ripe abroad, only to ripen on the thousands-of-miles-long journey to the grocery store. Roasted butternut squash in November has a richness that can only be completed by the rainbow of leaves scattering the crisp air around it. Refraining from fresh raspberries in December may mean some self-restraint, but it also signifies less unnecessary fossil fuel waste – a greater good the Locavore is happy to sacrifice for. The big picture is what the Locavore sees – the goal is to sustain the ecosystem, not satisfy a fleeting craving.

I, a Locavore, love the land and I love my food. I want them in their purest form possible. Give me a crisp Gala apple, a tender potato, sweet maple syrup, or juicy sweet corn from the neighboring farmers, and I’m brimming with contentment. Knowing the people who make my food makes it all the more satisfying when I enjoy it, because I understand that I’m also supporting my friends who work their hardest to provide quality goods to nourish me. Without local farmers, my food life would be abysmal, but my environment would also deteriorate before my very eyes. I’d like to convey my gratitude to them for the food they give, and the life they sustain. My heart will never stray from local, all for my love for my favorite small farmers and the interminable work they do.

About the author: Lillian Dickerson is no stranger to NOFA-NY, as a former office intern.  She spent the 2012-2013 academic year in the University of Rochester’s KEY program, which allows undergraduates to take a tuition-free fifth year to pursue any form of entrepreneurial venture.  Lillian’s project was entitled “The Business of Health” and was an exercise in what it would take to open a healthy-foods, locally-sourced, sustainable-business-practice café in Rochester.


One Response to “Essay Contest Runner Up: A Locavore Love Story By Lillian Dickerson”

  1. Jim July 8, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Eloquently written and the thesis presented is aligned with my own. Bravo!

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