Local Food Matters events are created to bring awareness and education about local food producers in Golden.                                Star Photo

Local Food Matters events are created to bring awareness and education about local food producers in Golden. Star Photo

Local food at center of challenge

On Wednesday, November 27 at 6 p.m., the Local Food Matters organization will be hosting their first ever Local Food Matters challenge. The challenge will be held in conjunction with their annual general meeting.

The challenge looks to inspire Golden residents to shift their eating and shopping habits towards locally sourced foods.

Participants in the challenge will have to create a meal with one locally sourced vegetable – an heirloom Georgia candy roasted squash from Ebe’s Garden – at the centre. Participants are in charge of sourcing their own additional local foods.

“We’re hoping that people become familiar with the options available at this time of year through the challenge,” said event coordinator Chrystel Vultier. “Sometimes it can be challenging to know what to do with an ingredient that’s not wildly available and produced, so that’s the point of this challenge.”

Local Food Matters has provided the contestants with resources and contacts in the local food community, in order to link in the chefs with ranchers and farmers who could provide them with what they need for the challenge.

There will be three teams competing, one representing Town Council, one made up of local high school students, and one made up of Golden Rockets.

There will also be a panel of five local food celebrity judges. The judges earned their place on the panel by participating in a separate challenge featuring local foods in September.

“We’ve done a few grassroots community organizing events that tend to appeal to people who are already into food, and so we thought that we would try to reach out to different corners of the community,” said Vultier. “We hope that we have a good turn out of people to come out and cheer on the challengers.”

The inspiration for the challenge comes from the negative impact that outsourcing food has on the environment. Eating locally not only helps support local farmers and ranchers, according to Vultier, but it can help reduce your carbon footprint as well. The first step is discovering where to start.

The Local Food Matters Challenge hopes to show Golden exactly how easy it is, and exactly where to start.

“Our food system is in jeopardy, it’s laced with a number of vulnerabilities related to climate change and local food is an important part of creating resilience and stability in our food system,” said Vultier. “I hope that there’s a bit of awareness created in the community about what local food is and where you can get it, and create momentum to create that shift.”

The contestants will be sent off to prepare their meals at the start of the AGM. While the chefs are in the kitchen, Local Food Matters will hold their AGM. At the end of the meeting, the completed dishes will be served to the judges, who will crown a champion.

All members of the community are welcome to come and watch, and participate in the AGM, and hopefully learn something as well. There will be a snack bar open to the public, pending a donation.