Green Christmas: Greening the table

Thursday, December 20, 2007 | 4:55 p.m. CST; updated 12:48 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gifts tend to steal the shopping limelight during the holidays. But an ecologically and economically crucial purchase is the holiday meal itself. Buying locally produced ingredients can greatly reduce the environmental footprint of the season. It might be a tired song, but the farther a tomato travels from vine to plate, the tougher on the environment.

“When it comes down to it, local food ... tastes better and has more nutrition because it’s fresh,” said Noah Myers, an employee at the Root Cellar. “Minerals deplete through packaging and freezing and time.”

The Root Cellar (814 E. Broadway) and Clover’s Natural Market (2012 E. Broadway and 2100 Chapel Plaza Court) are two Columbia stores that sell Missouri-made food. Everything from raw grains up the food chain to dairy and meats can be acquired from regional producers.

A key to eating locally is also to consider the season: think sweet potato pie rather than key lime; chestnuts rather than coconuts. And make good use of all the leftovers.

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