Gadabout: a person who flits about in social activity. Webster might as well replace the word gadabout with my name, Kristen Baughman. My Google calendar is never empty. Life would be boring if I didn’t dedicate myself to spending time with my friends, family, coworkers, and CouchSurfers. There’s one common theme that runs through my numerous social activities, and that’s food.
My 22 years of life have revolved around my sincere love for food. I have to thank my Dad for turning me into a foodie at a young age. He taught me how to find the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants and even took my family on a mission to eat the most delicious key lime pie in all of Florida. Not only did my Dad teach me to appreciate good food, my Mom and Grandma taught me a thing or two in the kitchen. The best present I ever received was a book filled with all of my Grandma’s Southern recipes. I love eating, cooking, and just appreciating food. Food makes me happy.
North Carolina is a fantastic state. The local foods movement is huge and North Carolina has so much to offer due to our great agricultural diversity. I’ve lived in North Carolina my whole life. I was raised in Charlotte and was ready for a change after high school. I moved to Raleigh in 2007 to attend North Carolina State University for my undergraduate and Master’s programs in Extension Education with a focus in Nutrition Science. During undergrad, I worked as an intern with the dietitian at NC State University Dining. My favorite part about the job was taste testing new products, teaching cooking classes, and dressing up as a giant banana! I currently work for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. I help to coordinate the activities of the Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council, which has given me the opportunity to learn more about local foods. Working with the group also inspired me to start this blog, the 43 Day Local Food Challenge. I set out on a mission to only eat locally grown and produced foods. I have finished my challenge and have met some amazing people along the way.