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Why (and how) to eat local

Why Local?

We all have to eat. When it comes to picking out the building blocks for your breakfast, lunch and dinner, it only makes sense to choose the freshest, best food available. The Philadelphia region is home to some of the richest and most abundant farmland in the country. From the Jersey shore to the fields of Lancaster, some of the best seafood, produce, meats and dairy products come from right around here.

Happily, you don’t have to be an accomplished home cook to enjoy the edible delights that come from our 100-mile foodshed. Many area restaurants have embraced the local bounty and make a point to stock their kitchens with Birchrun cheeses, eggs from Natural Meadows and the freshest baby greens you’ve ever seen, grown by Kensington’s own Greensgrow Farms.

Why Philly Homegrown?


Philadelphia has been a national gathering point for the local food movement for more than 25 years (and you thought it all started in San Francisco). This city is home to food pioneers like Judy Wicks and Mary Seton Corboy, as well as instrumental programs such as the Food Trust and Farm to City. Local food constitutes a full-fledged movement in our region and is attracting more national attention every day.

We are encouraging this movement because it directly impacts the region’s economy and the quality of life for everyone who lives here (from the local farmers who produce our food, to the chefs who prepare it in their restaurant, to the diners who eat it). Food is one of the reasons people come to visit and explore Philadelphia and its countryside and we don’t want them to miss even a single delicious bite.

How you can do local

There are a number of ways to engage with local food. Here are just a few.

  • Join a CSA (that stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It’s also known as a farm share, and when you buy in, you get a heaping box full of farm fresh goodness once every week or so).
  • Search out restaurants that source locally (if you don’t know where to start, check out our Food Finder).
  • Visit a Farmers’ Market (you can find those in that handy Food Finder as well).
  • Ask your local grocery store if they carry any local foods. If they don’t, ask them to start.
  • Pay a visit to one of the area’s many U-Pick farms (the Food Finder has got these as well).
  • Take a drive out to Kennett Square and try their mushrooms.
  • Start drinking local beer. With Victory Brewing, Yards, Philadelphia Brewing Company, Nodding Head and more to choose from, you won’t go thirsty.
  • Have a sweet tooth? Consider taming it with chocolate from John & Kira’s or Betty’s Tasty Buttons. A Snickers bar won’t taste the same once you’ve tasted their treats.
  • Plant a garden (we have more than 500 community gardens, so it’s even possible for the city dwellers).

The Food Trust
http://www.thefoodtrust.org/

Philly.com/food
www.philly.com/food

Fair Food Farmstand
http://www.fairfoodphilly.org/

Buy Fresh Buy Local
http://www.buylocalpa.org/southeast

Farm to City
http://www.farmtocity.org/

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
http://www.dvrpc.org/

William Penn Foundation
http://www.williampennfoundation.org/

Lancaster Farm Fresh
http://www.lancasterfarmfresh.com/static/controls/

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
http://www.pasafarming.org/

Jersey Fresh
http://www.state.nj.us/jerseyfresh/

Reading Terminal Market
http://www.readingterminalmarket.org/

Pennsylvania Horticultural Societyhttp://phsonline.org/