Sustainable Table: Eat Local with Erin

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MEDFORD, Ore. — In its 8th year, Eat Local Week is taking on a new challenge. Participants are encouraged to celebrate the social aspects of local food. There are 3 dozen events during Eat Local Week which will highlight the fun and sustainability of choosing to eat local.

Wendy Siporen is the Executive Director of Thrive and help organize the events during Eat Local Week.  “So, there are so many different ways you can experience that and I think our idea and our incentive during Eat Local Week is to connect people with the source of their food so they can start now, in September and then continue really all year long.”

Eat Local Week kicks of Friday, September 13 and lasts 10 days until Sunday, September 22.  During that time, participants are encouraged to select food from a 200 mile radius of the Rogue Valley.  “It really means getting to know your producers. So, how far are you willing to go to know who grew your food and what’s your relationship,” explained Siporen.

This year’s event features favorites like the Great Tomato Tasting at the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market, but also some new options which organizers hope will encourage participation at the table and through social media.  A photo contest will allow local eaters to connect with others and share their favorite eat local moments. Thrive is also encouraging the use of the #EatLocalWeek for social media posts.

“When we are talking about local we are talking about building community, building economic community hear in the valley and that really means knowing who you are buying from and what it takes to bring it to the table,” Siporen said.

NewsWatch 12’s Erin Maxson will be eating local during Eat Local Week. Viewers can follow her on Twitter or Facebook for updates on the successes and trials she has as she strives to eat local. Erin is challenging viewers to join her in her quest to eat local and to let her know if they find any great meals, deals or has a recipe featuring locally grown or produced food.