Not only are fruits and vegetables high in vitamins, minearal and fiber, ther're low in calories and high in cell-protecting antioxidants. Adding more to your day couldn't be easier. Add extra vegetables to soups, salads and sandwiches, as well as egg, rice adn pasta dishes. Snack on fresh fruit between meals. Find a local farmers market and see whats in season in your region.
Spring is gearing up and for a local food junkie like me, its time to hit the farmer's markets. Discover how to find a market near you , then get other tips for eating closer to home.
You might be surprised at the amount of local food available to you. Over the last 15 years, the number of farmers' markets has more than tripled as more consumers want to know where their food comes from. Produce from nearby farms is typically the highlight at markets but that's not all you can find. In addition to fresh fruits and veggies, many local purveyors bring along their dairy, meats, fish, honey, baked goods, eggs and flowers. What you'll find (and when you'll find it) will vary depending on where you live..
To find a farmer's market near you visit Local Harvest or the USDA Website.
In response to shoppers' requests, many grocery stores are now carrying more locally produced foods too. Look for country of origin labeling in the produce section as well as store shelves. My neighborhood Whole Foods Market places a "local" sign next to all the products that come from nearby sources.
Since the local bounty will vary by stat and changes throughout the year, it really helps to know what you can find from month to month. Many states have produce charts, like this one for Michigan Produce Availability Calendar. It helps to know that in California strawberries are available as early as January, but in New York, you might not see them until June.
To find a seasonal availability chart fro your state, visit the stat's agriculture board website or check out this index at FieldtoPlate.com.
What if you're tempted to buy leeks or garlic scapes but you have no idea how to prepare them, or you're cluless about how to store the beautiful haead of cauliflower you just bought? That's where the Healthy Harvest Regional Food Guides can help. he monthly availability info is for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states but you can look up nutriction facts, uses adn storage info no matter where you live.
More Tips for Eating Locally:
- Get to know your farmet- they are happy to anwser your questions
- Check out a few markets to find your favorite- they're all different
- Bring cash (small bills if bossible and your own shopping bags
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC