8 Benefits of Eating Locally Grown Food
Are you looking for ways to try new vegetables this season? Want to invest in the local economy and know what is in the food you eat? Interested in knowing and connecting with the people who grow your food? If so, then you are a perfect candidate for a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and it is a great way to get lots of different veggies at a reasonable price, with the confidence that comes with buying locally grown food.
The Seacoast of New Hampshire is rich with farms. Many of them offer the opportunity to purchase a “share” or “partial share” of the harvest, in which you receive a weekly agreed upon amount of freshly picked vegetables. Some CSAs also include meat, fruit, flowers, eggs, or other farm products along with their vegetables. Purchasing a CSA at the beginning of the growing season allows you to invest in local farms and to realize the many healthful benefits of eating locally grown food.
In addition to CSAs, there are quite a few farmer’s markets throughout the region. Check out http://www.seacoasteatlocal.org/ for a list 34 different markets, 10 of which are open in May.
To get you motivated to try a CSA and to shop at farmer’s markets, here are eight solid benefits:
- Flavor and nutrition: Produce grown locally has more time to ripen before harvest, which increases the flavor and nutrient value.
- Connection: There are lots of opportunities to meet and get to know the people who produce the foods you consume.
- Safety: With fewer steps in the process between harvest and your plate, there are fewer opportunities for contamination.
- Peace of mind: You can choose organic farms that don’t use pesticides, and you can ensure the farm uses sustainable growing practices.
- Local support: You will be supporting local farmers who are committed to working their land to produce the highest quality foods for their communities.
- Variety: Being part of a CSA and shopping at farmer’s markets encourages trying new vegetables and recipes, which is a great way to mix up your usual veggie routine.
- Wise economy: Buying from local farmers keeps your locally earned dollars in your own community.
- Community: CSAs and farmer’s markets encourage a sense of community, as you get to know the farm owners and other people who choose to buy and eat locally.
With summer close at hand, it’s the perfect time to plan ahead for fresh vegetables, and to find new recipes to try. Get creative and have fun with your cooking. Look for healthy recipes on line, share ideas with friends and neighbors, and most of all, enjoy the food you eat! Food shouldn’t be boring, and with all the local options, you can create almost anything. By the way, fresh rhubarb, salad greens and lettuce are all in season in May. So why wait? Find a market and eat local!
New cannot believe Memorial Day is upon us. Let’s talk about some fun ideas for you and your family to embark upon this weekend! Summer is really coming.