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Local First announced is 10x10 Eat Local Challenge last week and I immediately pledged. I’ll admit it was for personal gain primarily since my first thoughts weren’t on creating a better world or helping one’s neighbor. Rather, I needed to take the challenge in order to start saving more money. That is the best-kept secret about going local – it not only helps out the local economy it is also a sound financial decision.
As a recent college graduate who is attempting to pay student loans and other bills with a serving job, saving money is incredibly important. I first learned of the cheaper and more sustainable food options from my hippie parents, who were food co-op members. I knew that these choices my parents took were financially smart since they were somehow able to feed their horde of children healthy local food.
Now, after four years as a Grand Rapids resident, I am even more acquainted with the cheap eating options that are available. I know I’m lucky to live in a place that provides so many restaurants, breweries, markets and stores that support the local economy and provide fresh products.
By taking this challenge, I want to force myself to reevaluate some of my typical cheap food choices and replace them with healthier, tastier and cheaper local food.
I hope you take this challenge with me. It directly impacts our community, and equally important, it will reap positive changes for you personally, too.
Onawa is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University who is currently interning at the West Michigan Environmental Action Council. Her focus of expertise includes strategic communications, environmental issues, public relations, Spanish, nonprofit administration and social media.
Reports on: Communications, craft beer, public relations and environmental Issues