Five Great Reasons To Eat Local This Summer
Have you been to LEAF Night, The Lakewood Farmers Market or the North Union Farmers Market yet this summer? If you haven’t been out exploring our fantastic local food resources yet this summer here are five reasons to get out there this week!
1. Locally grown produce packs an extra nutritional punch! Produce loses nutrients as it sits and produce picked before it is ripe (to allow for long distance travel) never has a chance to develop its full nutritional value. Locally grown foods avoid these pitfalls. Along with the extra nutritional value comes extra fresh flavor to boot! This goes for local pasture-raised eggs and meats as well.
2. Seasonal eating not only allows you to enjoy a variety of foods throughout the year when they are at their peak of flavor and nutrition, but those foods may also contain ingredients that suit the body's needs for that time of year, such as summer fruits with their high fluid content and hearty, calorie dense root veggies that hit the spot during cool weather.
3. Local, organic foods will not only give you the extra nutritional value described above, but unlike foods that have been irradiated or pasteurized to prolong shelf life, fresh from the farm organic produce is loaded with enzymes. Food enzymes are the work-horses of digestion and are the reason foods break down both in our bodies and on the shelf (think brown spots on an apple). Enzymes are also necessary for just about every function within our bodies, so eating fresh, enzyme rich foods may benefit you in innumerable ways!
4. Farmers Markets aren’t just about shopping! They’re also a great way to get connected with your community. They give you a chance to get outside, walk in the sun and enjoy the fresh air while meeting the farmer face to face, and visiting with neighbors and other folks who share your community and your healthy lifestyle.
5. Shopping at local markets helps support the local economy as your food dollar goes directly to the farmers, bakers, food purveyors and artisans instead of financing far away farming conglomerates and all the intermediaries that handle your food as it makes its way from farm to plate.
We’ll see you this week at one of our local markets!
LEAF Night ~ http://www.leafcommunity.org
Lakewood Farmer’s Market ~ http://lakewoodfarmersmarket.blogspot.com
North Union Farmer’s Market ~ http://www.northunionfarmersmarket.org
Rachel Anzalone is a Holistic Wellness Coach and member of Live Well Lakewood.