Temperatures are rising, flowers are blooming and Spring is in the air! It's the perfect time to begin exploring the local seasonal harvest available at our organic Farmer's Markets.
Now, we all know that fresh fruits and veggies are nutritious and necessary for a healthy diet. Unfortunately, most of the produce we consume has traveled over 1500 miles before it hits the shelf in American stores; creating unnecessary pollution and contributing to climate change. It is time to begin thinking globally by acting locally.
Lets be part of a community that supports a sustainable food system. Asking to change everything about your diet may be a little shocking so just start with a visit to your local Farmer's Market and stock up on all the delicious veggies the season has to offer.
Most importantly, we encourage everyone to begin thinking, spending and eating "locally." Local is generally defined as originating anywhere within 60-100 miles from your home. In addition to cutting down on emissions, saving some cash, and supporting your neighbors, consuming an organic local diet has a number of health benefits:
1) Eating local is an opportunity to eat more fresh, organic, natural whole-foods which are great for our health and even higher in nutrients than commercially grown produce. Locally harvested produce is left on the vine, picked, harvested and sold at peak ripeness, which is why fresh food tastes better!
2) Fresh foods have more nutrients! When produce is bought from a store it has been harvested early, travelled across the globe and hit the store shelf all before reaching peak ripeness and maximum nutrient density. Additionally, packaging produce results in a depletion of vitamins C, E, A and some B.
3) Indigenous local diets help fight and prevent allergies and disease! The beneficial bacteria, known as microbes, found in our food help build up antibodies and immunity to local allergens and harmful disease causing pathogens. The bacteria and nutrients vary from season to season and are specific to what our bodies need to be strong and healthy. If you're suffering from allergies this Spring, try starting your day with some raw local honey to reduce inflammation and build up resistance.
4) Knowing where your food comes from promotes a safer food supply. Fewer steps between you and the farmer means less chance of contamination during harvest, cleaning and transport.
5) Small local farmers can diversify their plantings and offer a variety of different products that you wouldn't normally find in the grocery store. A diverse, organic whole-foods diet will boost energy and promote overall well-being.
So get out and try something new! Talk with the farmers when you visit the market; they can lift up your spirit as good energy usually rubs off on you. Have fun in the kitchen and let us know if you need help with some new ideas we are always up for a playing in the kitchen.
By Vanessa Upegui
Photography by Megan Martin