Although I spent a decade as a Camp Fire Girl (we earned beads, not badges), I must applaud Girl Scouts of America for offering their 2.3 million troops the opportunity to earn a 'locavore' badge, stressing the importance of local food. The Girls Scouts, celebrating their 100-year-old birthday next year, launched the new badge on October 1. (They also added new badges for website design, financial literacy and entertainment technology.)
"All of our badges reflect what today’s girls said they wanted to know about -- girls are interested in what they eat and how it affects their health and the environment, so the Locavore badge gives them a chance to delve into those issues in their communities. Plus, what’s more fun than making your own food, and truly knowing it from farm to table?"
--Alisha Niehaus, Executive Editor, Program Resources, in an email to SF Weekly
(Niehaus also points out that the organization began offering the Canner Badge in 1920, back when it was more about survival and less about trend.)
So, how does a scout earn a locavore badge? Here's are the guidelines:
1. Explore the benefits and challenges of going local
2. Find your local food sources
3. Cook a simple dish showcasing local ingredients
4. Make a recipe with local ingredients
5. Try a local cooking challenge
Scouts are encouraged to interview a local chef or grocery manager about the food system and identify what grows locally in different seasons. They will likely end up rummaging through their home fridge to see what foods can be replaced by local produce.
--Girl Scout Motto
From there, it moves into the kitchen for three main tasks:
- Create two salads using only local produce
- Take a family recipe and make it with only local ingredients
- Prepare a three-course meal OR make a staple from scratch (such as pasta or bread)
"Do a Good Turn Daily"
--Girl Scout Slogan
And while we're at it, kudos to the organization for finally committing to reduced usage of palm oil (which destroys orangutan habitats) and opting for sustainable sourced supplies. This didn't happen over night (took five years, in fact) but they've finally arrived which means we can buy just that many more cookies from them next year.
I will do my best to be Honest and Fair, Friendly and Helpful, Considerate and Caring, Courageous and Strong, and Responsible for what I say and do, And to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.
--Girl Scout Law
BlogHer Section Editor, LIFE & GREEN; Contributing Editor, Animal & Wildlife Concerns; Proprietor, ClizBiz
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