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What are locovores?


The Locavore Diet
Some locavore follow the Marco Polo rule -- they eat local foods but allow spices and dried foods that sailors could have carried on ships.
Some locavore follow the Marco Polo rule -- they eat local foods but allow spices and dried foods that sailors could have carried on ships.
Boucicaut Master/Getty Images

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Although some locavores may choose a vegetarian or vegan diet, most have no dietary­ restricti­ons beyond those imposed by their location. Generally, locavores forgo mainstays like coffee, chocolate, bananas and olive oil that come from warm climates and travel long distances to market. They also give up other staples like salt and spices, wheat and beer (if there are no local sources of barley and hops) depending on whether such items grow in their part of the country.

­But not all locavores follow the rules in the same way. There are three general types of locavores: ultrastrict, Marco Polo rule, and wild card.

Ultrastrict locavores avoid all ingredients that have not been grown and produced locally. Marco Polo rule followers incorporate dried spices into their diet -- items sailors could carry along while at sea -- but keep all other ingredients local. Wild card locavores are less restrictive. They bend their foodshed to include coffee, sugar, chocolate or any ingredients they feel they just can't live without [source: Tep]. The wild card locavore diet is the movement's most accessible. Some locavores rationalize their coffee fix by purchasing only beans that have been certified fair trade.

­­In the next section, we'll discuss reasons for becoming a locavore, find out where locavores shop and learn if they have any secrets to finding tasty tomatoes during the winter months.


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