The official release of the sixth edition of the TasteBuds Local Food Guide will be Aug. 11 at the Chattanooga Market. TasteBuds is the regional guide for finding local foods grown and crafted within 100 miles of Chattanooga. This issue offers tips and solutions for buying locally-grown and raised foods, even in the fall and winter time when some products are more scarce.
Local meat is available throughout the winter, when produce becomes a bit harder to find. This issue explores the true value of eating local chicken. In this issue, several local independent farmers discuss how they produce healthier, happier chickens that are good for the consumer, the farmer, and the environment. While the price of local poultry is currently higher than commercially-produced poultry, a new poultry processing facility catering to small farms has opened in the region, which should lower the price and environmental impact of local poultry, officials said.
“Our new poultry processing facility will impact both the availability and price of poultry in our foodshed.” said Joel Houser, executive director of Crabtree Farms, the organization which produces TasteBuds. Demand may rise as well. “The conversation of local poultry has been started in our community with the recent unsuccessful push for legalizing backyard hens; suddenly more people are thinking of where their poultry is produced.”
New to the local food conversation, the guide dives into the topic of sustainable seafood with Anna George of the Tennessee Aquarium. Now in its’ second year, the aquarium’s sustainable seafood initiative, Serve & Protect, helps inland residents reduce their impact on the global waters. Ms. George’s article in TasteBuds offers solutions for finding local and sustainable seafood in a non-coastal area.
Also in this issue, the TasteBuds 10% Challenge is introduced. The 10% Challenge is an opportunity to diversify a palate by committing 10% of your food budget to local food. Not only will participants taste the difference, they will be supporting the local economy and family farms, officials said. Participants can take the pledge at TasteBuds 10% Challenge cause page (http://bit.ly/14ZlpLY), and join the TasteBuds 10% Challenge Facebook Group where they can track their journey and interact with fellow pledgers by sharing tips, recipes and other helpful advice throughout the winter.
TasteBuds is managed by Crabtree Farms and funded by Gaining Ground, an initiative to increase the production and consumption of local food. TasteBuds was developed in 2008 to help inspire consumers to make local foods a part of their diets and lives.
TasteBuds is a free publication available at many locations across the Chattanooga metro area. The first copies of this issue will be available at the Chattanooga Market Sunday, Aug. 11. The guide is also searchable online at growchattanooga.org/tastebuds.