Challenge Yourself to a Week of 'Eating In'

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Starting Feb. 22, The Huffington Post will kick off its weeklong “eating in” challenge.

Support local economy during challenge by shopping at your neighborhood farmers market, small grocer or participate in a community supported agriculture program. Photo: Amanda Wills, Earth911.com

Inspired by Cathy Erway’s The Art of Eating In, the experiment’s ultimate goal is to promote a consumer relationship with food – from where it’s purchased to how it’s thrown out.

“We are very focused on empowering people to use food wisely and not waste,” HuffPost Green Editor Katherine Goldstein tells Earth911.

“We had this idea several months ago,” Goldstein says. “I love how [Erway] incorporated her ideas about sustainability into a food blog, and I thought that the book was a great way to outline her experiences of not eating out. Here [in New York City] it’s second nature to go out to eat. So, for us, it’s a fairly radical experience.”

Goldstein says she already brings her lunch to work and enjoys cooking at home, but this week’s experiment will no doubt be a challenge as many urbanites’ social lives center around restaurant dining.

“I’m definitely noticing that people are inviting me to do things, and I’m thinking of ways to work around the challenge,” she says. “I will be making some big changes going into this week.”

But the event isn’t just about reducing waste and getting in touch with your local side. It’s also about saving some major dough.

In her book, Erway took her own experiment to an extreme level and avoided dining out for two years. In the end, she saved more than $7,000! (We were speechless, too).

While individual savings vary depending on factors such as location and types of meals prepared in the home, Goldstein says some city-dwellers can save up to $200 in just one week.

So far, more than 2,000 readers have pledged to eat in for one week, but anyone can get in on the huge event. HuffPost encourages readers to share their experiences, photos and recipes throughout the week.

Be on the lookout for some pretty rad slideshows from the news org, such as an in-depth look on restaurant waste, outrageously gross packaged foods and the kitchen essentials everyone needs for tasty, home-cooked meals.

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