Serious Green: Food Independence Day

lady1.jpgHere at Serious Eats we love being able to fulfill a commitment just by eating a delicious meal.

Kitchen Gardeners International (the same people who successfully led the charge for a White House Kitchen Garden) are now running a campaign to encourage local and sustainable eating on the Fourth of July. So far, more than 5,000 individuals have pledged to eat a meal made with local food on July 4. The "Food Independence Day" petition also asks the nation's 50 governors to participate and share what they will be eating.

The petition reads: "As residents of your states and by our signatures below, we pledge to join you in this celebration of edible independence by eating healthy and delicious foods from our own local farms, gardens and communities."

What better way to celebrate America's independence then by feasting on locally grown and raised food? Not only will your purchase support your local community, but you might even meet an artisan, farmer, or cheese-maker you didn't know before.

So this Saturday, July 4, declare your food independence with locally inspired dishes. If you don't think you can create a mostly local meal, pick one dish and try to include one local thing--maybe some mint from your own garden in a drink, watermelon from a roadside stand in a salad, or a roasted pastured chicken from a nearby farmer. Here's a sample menu (with recipes) to get you started.

Mint Julep
Roast Chicken with Saffron and Lemons
Grilled Halloumi Cheese and Watermelon Salad
New Potato and Summer Squash Salad
Artisanal Cheeses
Strawberry Shortcake

Need help finding a source of local food? Local Harvest is a good resource for finding farmers, CSAs, and other local producers by zip code.

Serious Eaters: What are you serving for July 4th, and are you planning on including local ingredients in your meal?