The Local Food Craze – Is it really worth it?

 In Clean Eating, Nutrition, promoting local, Wellness

It really is!  Here are just a few of the benefits to purchasing local food:

Health Benefits

  • Local food is fresher, with a higher nutritional value plus it’s more flavourful!  Many post-harvest factors–such as  handling, temperature changes and storage conditions–can affect the nutritional quality of fruits and vegetables; for example, the vitamin C content in produce can be decreased if the food item is exposed to high temperatures or becomes bruised. Fruits and vegetables can lose their nutrients quickly, so how long ago they were picked and how far they travelled is important.
  • Studies have shown that, by changing shopping environments from supermarkets to farmers markets,  consumers drastically increase their intake of fruits and vegetables, while also consuming a wider variety of produce.  Variety ensures a diet filled with all the vitamins and minerals needed.

Social Benefits

  • Local foods create relationships between the producers, consumers and land, bringing communities together.

Environmental Benefits

  • Purchasing locally minimizes greenhouse gas emissions from reduced food transportation. The definition of a sustainable diet is one that is protecting and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems.

Economic Benefits

  • Eating local foods supports local agriculture, businesses, and jobs, so more money stays within the community.

So what about price? In many cases, locally produced items from grocery stores and farmer’s markets are lower in cost than imported products.  Buy fruits and vegetables in bulk when they are in the peak of their season.  Freezing them will make them last longer.

  • Now that you are convinced… there are many places local foods can be found, even in your regular supermarket or food co-op.  Find farmer’s markets or sign up for community supported agriculture (CSA).  CSA is an arrangement where consumers support a farm by purchasing shares.  In return they receive a share of the crops throughout the growing seasons.  They are great because they create exposure to new fruits and vegetables and new ways of cooking.  Going to a farmer’s market for the first time might feel intimidating.  Have a look at these 10 shopping tips: https://www.thespruce.com/farmers-market-shopping-tips-4067698

We know eating whole foods is healthy, but supermarkets are filled with processed temptations.  It is easier to stick to whole foods by shopping at a farmer’s market instead.  Try making these cauliflower puffs, and other recipes that only use only whole foods that can be found at farmer’s markets.

http://www.gracelinks.org/951/cauliflower-puff

  • Recipe retrieved from Grace Communications Foundation

To improve our health and vitality, support local farmers, and create a movement towards local organic food being the norm rather than the exception, we must all strive to find local resources to take advantage of. Yes, cost and availability can sometimes be a limiting factor, but every little bit helps in creating worthwhile change.

Evolve Retreat Co. supports fresh, local ingredients for all our menus. Our chefs craft extraordinary menus that are rich in natural, whole foods and herbs and contain no artificial substances or common allergens.  Chef prepares all meals with seasonal, organic, locally available ingredients with no added sugar, salt, or butter.  Beautiful, delicious and so, so good for you—the food we serve is meticulously prepared to fuel both body and soul. All special dietary requirements are accommodated. For more information on the health benefits of shopping local join our Dieticians, Nutritionists, and Physicians on retreat.  Connect at evolveretreatco.com.

 

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