Or what about an omelet, made with fresh eggs collected just this morning and filled with local spinach and freshly made feta cheese. A pinch of sea salt and a light grind of black pepper, and oh my, it’s breakfast!
Here are a few good reasons to use fresh foods grown where you live:
1. You know where they came from, and who grew them.
2. You’re supporting your local farmers, and in turn, your community.
3. You know how fresh the food is.
4. When you buy it you meet others who also enjoy cooking and eating fresh!
And then there’s this: fresh, locally grown foods are healthy, low in cholesterol, and just plain taste good.
Visiting a farmer’s market can be a singular experience. When you go to one, you’re planning a treat for yourself, your family and friends. You find a variety of delicious, colorful, high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables in season, some fresh-laid eggs, and a cheery bunch of flowers for the table. Then there are the surprises: the booth with the homemade jams lined up in jewel-colored jars, the one with the homemade tea towels and tablecloths, and the bread booth, filled with freshly baked bread of all kinds. The aroma is indescribable.
Eating and cooking fresh locally grown food is a treat. But it’s also good for the community. When you buy from a local farmer, your money is going right back into your town, your county, and your region. You’re supporting not only the farmer, but her employees as well. She plants and harvests for you and others in her—your—community, providing foods that are in season, rich with nutrients and always delicious.
Buying your foods fresh from local farmers markets, shops and farm stands has another benefit: community. You have a unique opportunity to meet and get to know your fellow community members. Some of them might be nearby neighbors. You can make new acquaintances, meet others who also appreciate cooking and eating fresh, and make new friends who will someday become old friends. It feels good, putting down roots in the place you live.
There’s also an argument to be made regarding the bigger picture. Buying fresh foods that are produced locally helps to lessen our environmental footprint in several ways. Many, if not most local farmers don’t use pesticides or herbicides while growing their crops, preferring to keep insects and weeds under control using natural methods. When you slice a tomato grown locally, you know you aren’t about to eat residual chemicals that could be harmful.
Some argue that food grown and consumed locally will, over time, reduce greenhouse gasses. Whether it would help the big picture is still under debate. Still, it’s a good one to have. But growing, harvesting, selling, buying and eating locally can only be a good thing.
For further health information about foods and more, click here.
By Leslie Vandever
Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer. She loves writing, cooking, and reading, and under the pen-name “Wren,” she writes a blog about living well with rheumatoid arthritis called RheumaBlog.
Farmers Markets. (n.d.) Nutrition.gov. U.S. Department of Agriculture. National Agricultural Library. Retrieved on February 26, 2014 from http://www.nutrition.gov/farmers-markets
Good Food Essentials: Shop Wisely, Cook Simply, Eat Well. (2011, Aug. 19) National Resources Defense Council. Retrieved on February 27, 2014 from http://www.nrdc.org/living/eatingwell/food-essentials.asp
Healthy and Sustainable Food. (n.d.) The Center for Health and the Global Environment. Harvard School of Public Health. Retrieved on February 27, 2014 from http://chge.med.harvard.edu/category/healthy-and-sustainable-food
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