10 Ways to Vote with Your Fork
Here are 10 EASY STEPS to support local farms and eat some seriously yummy and healthy food.
Did you know that fresh produce loses its nutrients quickly? Food that is frozen or canned soon after harvest is actually more nutritious than some “fresh” produce that has been on the truck or supermarket shelf for a week or longer. Knowing your farmer gives you insight into the seasons, the weather, and the miracle of raising food.
1. Eat low on the food and marketing chain by buying direct from farmers. Several studies have shown that the average distance food travels from farm to plate is 1,500 miles. In a week-long (or more) delay from harvest to dinner table, sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink, and produce loses its vitality.
2. Stick with organic or sustainably-grown produce when possible. A study found that children who ate only organic produce had one-sixth the level of pesticides in their bodies of those who ate conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Here’s the latest research on why eating organics is the smart thing to do for your personal health, and the health of the environment.
3. Shop at farmers’ markets; they are perfect places to buy all kinds of food, and meet the farmers who are nearby.
4. Join what’s called a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. That’s a long name for a type of subscription to a weekly box of fruits, vegetables and meats produced by a local farmer.Find one that delivers near you by clicking here.
5. Eat at restaurants that procure from and support local farmers. And ask your server where the restaurant ordered its food.
6. Some larger grocery stores now carry local food. Whole Foods, Kroger, and Publix are just three of them. Ask the folks at your grocery store whether they have a local food section.
7. Community gardens are excellent resources for finding and growing local foods. They offer educational tours, courses, and workshops that perpetuate the good food movement.
8. Grow your own. It doesn’t take much space at all to grow your own herbs, and vegetables. And if you have enough space for a bona fide garden, even better. Moreover, backyard chicken coops can keep you in steady supply of delicious, fresh eggs year round.
9. Cook a meal for a neighbor or family member using only local ingredients, and show them how delicious and easy it is to do.
10. Shop smart. Read labels, and if you find an ingredient that you are pretty sure Grandma didn’t use, it’s probably not sustainable, and definitely not produced by a local family farm.