Why Eat LOCAL?
Because the food tastes GREAT, lasts far longer than store bought, and has great benefit for your body! Not only will your taste buds thank you from the freshness and variety, but you will benefit greatly from the nutritious sustainably farmed produce. AND it’s a blast to go each week, get to know your farmers, and buy direct from the source! A total feel good all the way around!
BUT lets get back to WHY eating local is so important for our health? With all the toxins in our environment and farming practices, GMO’s, chemicals and pesticides, shopping local gives you a leg up when it comes to knowing the quality of the food you are eating. It is comforting being able to ask the farmers directly how your food is grown.
Here are 3 Tips to becoming more intimate and knowledgeable about your food while shopping local.
TIP 1: ASK Questions of your farmers:
- Where is your farm? Do you use chemicals, fungicides and or pesticides during the planting AND growing season? Yes, both planting and growing are necessary as they might say no to one, but yes for the later. What water resources are used, Agriculture (AG), reclaimed, or well water? Well water is the best, not reclaimed as it’s filled with major runoff that has chemicals in it.
- All these questions YOU GET TO ASK when you shop locally at Farmers Markets or from a CSA.
TIP 2: BE CHOOSY where you shop.
- Choose large chain grocery stores that showcase local farms such as a Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Kroger, Natural Grocer, even smaller neighborhood grocery stores like GROW South Bay. Showcasing local farmers has been awesome in various places around the country. It is getting better and better as it helps us connect with our farmers directly, know exactly where our food is coming from, and the ability to choose higher quality food.
Tip 3: LISTEN to your GUT and become informed. Read Up and decide for your self.
Know if you are eating foods that contain GMO seeds. Why does this matter? Well there is a great deal of controversy and debate around GMO foods, the possible good that it may be doing on a global level and the potential threat it has on our bodies, our planet, our environment and who knows what else. Megs and I believe in listening to your intuition! If your gut feels “stay away from GMO food”, LISTEN to your gut! We choose to buy non-GMO, as that is what we believe. However, do your own investigating. Read up from reputable people and sites who actually CARE about YOUR health AND are not earning a buck from either their own research or reserach dollars.
A great read that really was eye-opening for us was Maria Rodale’s Organic Manifesto. In her book she shares years of research Rodale Institute has done on America farming. It’s an easy short read that’s engaging and really shares a wealth of knowledge on our US farming practices. There are also many documentaries out there as well, Food Inc. Fork Over Knives, or watch this fun video: Store Wars the Organic Rebellion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNebLsiAia8 and other short videos by this same company! It’s quite entertaining and educational! AND Mercola.com has a wealth of information as does many other websites. Here’s just one article worth reading. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/10/11/gmo-food-labeling.aspx
AND PBS has a great new show Food Forward that is highlighting many foodies, farmers and rebels who CARE about how food is grown, prepared and sold. Check it out! http://video.pbs.org/program/food-forward/
The bottom line is to become informed, make your own personal decisions about those controversial topics, and try shopping at a local farmers market in your community when possible. To locate a farmers market near you go to http://www.localharvest.org/
We all share different opinions when it comes to food and our health. We hope you found this informative and encourages you to connect with your food on a local level!
Megs and Pegs
A few of our DEAR Farmer friends.