Over the last few years, the “buy local” movement has seen significant growth – for good reason! There are so many benefits to eating local - from nutritional to environmental and community reasons, now more than ever it is important to support your local farmers and enjoy real food for yourself.
Why does fresh food taste better and why should you make the conscious effort to shop local? First off, local food is fresher. Unlike the food at the grocery store, which can travel over 1,000 miles from point of production to shelf, the vendors at our local market told me that most of the produce sold at the market traveled a mere 1-20 miles to get to you. Additionally, when you eat locally, you eat with the seasons and the cycle of seasonal produce is perfectly designed to support your health. In the peak of summer, our bodies require cooling foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and berries, whereas in the dark cold days of winter we need high-fat foods and root vegetables. Right now, we all just need to get to our local apple orchards to not only pick our own food but to enjoy some fresh air!
By shopping local, you also support a local business, support sustainable agriculture, product less waste and discover new foods and flavors. Plus, you eat mindfully because you are more connected with the food you eat – the who, where, when, how and why are just as important, if not more important, than the what.
But can you find local food right here in Medina? You sure can! While my husband and I were enjoying lunch at Thyme2 the other day, we spoke with chef/owner, John Kolar, about where he was purchasing food for his restaurant. He told us that he buys from Geig’s Orchard, Richardson Farms and a couple other local farmers which provides him the opportunity to offer a seasonal menu filled with the freshest ingredients, unique flavors, and new delicious creations for our ever-changing palettes.
For those of us that don’t have a green thumb ourselves, we are so fortunate to have two farmers markets that offer a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meats and spices to satisfy our taste buds and optimize our nutritional intake.
So, the next time you visit the market or stop by a local produce stand on your way home from work, ask your local famer about their farming practices, the nutritional benefits and the best ways to prepare these fresh products so that you can absorb and achieve the greatest benefits from the vitamins and minerals our local food offers. Studies show that three out of every four farmers say they use practices consistent with organic standards so not only are you supporting the local farmers while enjoying foods that are as fresh as possible, you’re also getting quality products less costly to feed your family.
Forget the planes, trains and trucks – just visit your local farmers market and enjoy!
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