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Are YOU a Locavore?
@The Weekly English Conversation Clubs
Bethesda Library, Montgomery County , Maryland , 20814 , USA

Vegetables

Let us get started…

Are you a locavore? Do you know what locavore means? A locavore is someone who eats fresh locally grown food.

Some other similar terms are carnivore, herbivore, and omnivore. Do you know what these terms mean? Can you give an example of each one? Which are you? (You can be more than one.)

Today we will talk about the term locavore because it is a new word - the 2007 Word of the Year for the Oxford American Dictionary – and because it is a new idea.

What it means to be a locavore:

California’s locavore movement and Canada ’s 100-Mile Diet are attempts to eat food grown within a 100-mile radius of where you live. It is popular to use locally grown seasonal produce when preparing food. What fruits and vegetables are in season?

The locavore movement encourages consumers to buy from farmers’ markets or even to grow or pick their own food. The idea is that fresh local produce is more nutritious and tastes better. Do you agree?

Locavores do not buy produce at supermarkets that has been shipped from far away since shipping food over long distances often requires more fuel for transportation. Do you think this idea is environmentally friendly?

(Source: Oxford University Press USA , November 12, 2007 )

Vegetables

Farmers’ Market Farm Stand U-Pick or Pick Your Own

Think about fresh local fruits and vegetables in your home country. (Are you getting hungry?)

In pairs for 5 minutes, ask and answer these questions.

¨ Who prepared your meals when you were growing up?

¨ Did you like fruits and vegetables when you were a child?

¨ What is the earliest fresh local food you remember eating?

¨ When did you first try something new? What food was it?

¨ How has your taste in food changed since you were younger?

Listen and share your partner’s answers with the group.

Group Discussion Questions:

In the United States , there are several ways you can buy produce directly from local famers. One way is farmers' markets, which are public spaces where farmers come into towns to sell produce from their farms directly to consumers. Have you ever been to a famers’ market? What do you buy there?

Are there farmers’ markets in your home country? Where are these markets located? Are the farmers at the market every day? What kind of produce do the farmers sell? Do you bargain about the cost of produce? If so, how do you negotiate the price?

Another way farmers can sell produce to you directly is at farm stands at the side of the road near their farms. Have you ever seen a farm stand? Where was it? Was anybody there to sell to you or was it on the honor system? Can you buy food directly from farms in your home country?

A third way you can purchase locally grown fresh produce is to pick your own fruits and vegetables. In this case, farmers allow you to pick (or harvest) crops they have grown. Have you ever been to a U-Pick farm? What did you do there? Did the farmer instruct you about how to gather produce?

Who picks the fruits and vegetables in your home country? Is it for fun or for work? Have you ever done it? When and why?

Gleaning is the act of collecting free leftover crops from a farmer’s field after the harvest. Who gleans in your home country?

Do you have a green thumb? Some people grow herbs and spices even indoors on a kitchen windowsill! What kind of food gardening is popular in your home country?

Are there fruits or vegetables in your home country that you do not see in the United States ?

Which new fruits and vegetables have you tried in this country?

Do you know the term organic food? Organic food is produced without pesticides, artificial fertilizers, growth hormones, and is not genetically modified. What are the government guidelines in your home country?

What organic foods do you eat? Can you taste a difference? Sometimes organic food is more expensive. Why?

American food shoppers are encouraged to be environmentally friendly. Food stores have started to offer a refund of 5 cents per bag if you bring your own shopping bag to take your purchases home. What do you use? Why? How do you carry food home in your home country?

Some people think a vegetarian diet is the most environmentally friendly. What do you think?

Did you know that vegetarianism has been popular in Western culture only since 1847 when the first Vegetarian Society was founded in England ? How popular is vegetarianism in your home country? Why or why not?

Lastly, how do you think you can reduce or eliminate the costs of transport, processing, packaging, and advertising of food?

Vegetables

Sources and Resources:

Film: Les Glaneurs et la Glaneuse [The Gleaners and I (2000)]
www.locavores.com www.marylandsbest.net www.ivu.org for the International Vegetarian Union
www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library for more English Learner information 8-Sep-08

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