Tag Archives: small business

Fresh-and-local

Healthy Habit #8: Eat Local and in Season

This month we con­tinue our focus on the impor­tance of edu­ca­tion in fos­ter­ing healthy eat­ing habits for our chil­dren.  The beau­ti­ful thing is that nature makes this easy for us. We don’t have to go far­ther than our local farmer’s mar­ket to see what fruits and veg­gies are ripe, in-season, and ideal for incor­po­rat­ing into our family’s daily diet!

One of the best sea­sonal guides we’ve come across is by Epicurious.com.  It is an inter­ac­tive map that tells you what’s in sea­son where you live.  You can access it here: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/seasonalcooking/farmtotable/seasonalingredientmap

What Does “Eat Local” Really Mean? 

You hear it over and over again – Eat Local!  Farm to Table!  Eat in Sea­son!  Truth is, the def­i­n­i­tion is really what­ever you want it to be – eat­ing local can mean eat­ing within a 50, 100, or 500 mile radius from your home. The term “loca­vore” is some­one who pri­mar­ily or exclu­sively eats foods grown or made within a 100 mile radius.  How­ever, eat­ing local can also mean eat­ing foods just from the U.S.A.  The rule of thumb is to eat foods grown or made as close to home as you real­is­ti­cally can, while still hav­ing the vari­ety of foods you need to prop­erly fuel your family.

What­ever your def­i­n­i­tion, there are many ben­e­fits to eat­ing locally:

  • Peak qual­i­ties of fresh­ness, nutri­tion, and taste
  • Fewer chem­i­cals needed to trans­port or sta­bi­lize food
  • Helps fight global warm­ing, reduce car­bon footprint
  • Helps the local econ­omy and local small business
  • Keeps your fam­ily in touch with the seasons
  • Makes a won­der­ful story about the food on your plate
  • Expands your menu with new, local varieties

Unfor­tu­nately, our country’s improve­ments in food sci­ence have removed us from the source and ori­gin of foods so much that many chil­dren don’t see the con­nec­tion between their diet and nature. Even see­ing car­rots with the green tops is enough shock fac­tor for some chil­dren used to see­ing pri­mar­ily prepack­aged, shelf-stable prod­ucts.  Ven­tur­ing out to see the source of local foods improves that line of sight and cre­ates much more excite­ment to your family’s meal­time than a trip down Aisle 9 ever could.

Where Can I Buy Local Foods?

One of the best ways to buy local pro­duce is to visit a farmer’s mar­ket in your area.   Make sure the kids tag along – talk­ing to farm­ers about their crops and see­ing the fresh pro­duce will help increase a child’s appre­ci­a­tion of the ori­gins of food.  There’s noth­ing that expands your child’s culi­nary hori­zons more than see­ing a potato with all the dirt on it or eggs that were laid just 24 hours before or nine dif­fer­ent vari­eties of let­tuce all in a row. In addi­tion to farmer’s mar­kets, a great way to intro­duce your chil­dren to local pro­duce is to do a fam­ily farm tour, or a farm to table din­ner, or go to a u-pick farm and pick it yourselves!

Local Har­vest offers an inter­ac­tive guide to assist you in find­ing farmer’s mar­kets in your area.  All you need to do is type in your zip code here: http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/

You can find good infor­ma­tion on local u-picks here: http://www.pickyourown.org/

Some beau­ti­ful foods are mak­ing their way to us this fall, and you will see many of them on the Whole­some Tum­mies fall sea­sonal menu includ­ing:  pump­kins, apples, sweet pota­toes, broc­coli, spinach, and grapes.  Be sure to try them out before they’re gone!