Posted 20 June 2011, by Lori Tipton, Channel Two News, KTUU, ktuu.com
Some in Southcentral are making a pledge to participate in the Alaska Food Challenge, and only eat locally-grown food, for a full year.
“We really want to support the local producers and help and encourage more people to go into that,” said Saskia Esslinger, one of the co-creators of the food challenge. “We think it’s really important.”
Esslinger and another member of the Anchorage Permaculture Guild came up with the idea.
“The goal for the challenge is, one, to prove that we can do it — that it’s possible to eat local for an entire year, and not just that it’s possible that it’s fun and it’s abundant and it’s wonderful, and it can be more rewarding than just going down to the grocery store ” said Esslinger.
While she and her husband maintain a garden filled with fresh vegetables and fruits, pledging to only eat local food will require changing some of their eating habits.
“That’s one of the things that we’re really looking forward to, which is getting out of the habit of buying the few processed things that we still buy,” Esslinger said.
Cindee Karns of Eagle River is also planning to participate in the year-long challenge. She said her main concern over the need to support local agriculture is that 98 percent of Alaska’s food is imported. “We’re at the end of the road here in Alaska so we got to do something,” she added.
Karns and her husband have built multiple gardens at their home filled with herbs, vegetables and fruits. “Our personal goal here is to by next year to eat 50 percent of our own food,” said Karns.
But they aren’t ready to give up certain foods that cannot be found locally. “We don’t want to give up coffee and we’re not so sure about sugar,” said Karns. “But if we could keep it down to that, that would be a huge, huge impact on our own whole economy.”
Contact Lori Tipton at firstname.lastname@example.org