Why eat local? Locally grown produce will be in season and picked at peak ripeness. Why is this important?
Farmers markets are springing up all over the country. In 1994 there were approximately 1,755 markets across the country, now there are roughly 8,500 + . Below is a list of websites for you to find a market near you:
USDA National Farmers’ Market Directory-This is a nationwide directory, put together by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Local Harvest and Local Harvest-Community Supported Agriculture-This is a non-profit organization with a database of local farmers’ markets and CSA’s (community gardens/coops)-the CSA will assist you with purchasing local produce in the winter time.
Local Farm Markets-Another non-profit with a data base of local farms, roadside stands and farmers markets.
Farmers’ Market Online-This is a directory of all 50 states, D.C. and portions of Canada.
Locally Grown– A smaller data base, with pockets of farmers’ markets in larger cities across the country.
Eat Wild-A directory to purchase local or organically grown:
Beef,Pork, Lamb, Veal, Goat, Elk, Venison, Yak, Chickens, Ducks, Rabbits, Turkeys, Eggs, Milk, Cheeses, Wild-Caught Salmon and more!
Farm Stand App-A farmers’ market app for your phone
If you buy from farmers’ markets, you’ll always be buying in season. If, however, you choose to buy at the local grocery store, buying fruit and vegetables that are in season will ensure the freshest food possible. Many stores are beginning to sell locally grown leafy greens and other vegetables. Check to see where your store grows the store brand produce. For example, Wegman’s, an east coast grocery store chain, grows the store brand produce, dairy, beef and chicken on the east coast, on farms/green houses in Pennsylvania, etc. This means locally grown, at least when you realize that most produce comes from California, Mexico, South America or even farther. Below is a list of what produce to buy seasonally:
Eating seasonally takes some getting used to, but, that’s why I push my “use what’s on hand” motto. Stay tuned for the next “How to eat healthy”, where I’ll discuss the pros and cons of food boxes and buying groceries from online vendors.