Health Benefits to Eating Local

 

The majority of our food is produced hundreds of miles from the place it is consumed. This requires energy for transportation, storage and handling. Often this results in waste from spoilage during the journey to its final destination. The CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Education) says there are ten excellent reasons to buy from local farmers.

  1. Taste Real Flavors- fruits and vegetables locally grown are able to ripen in the field.
  2. Enjoy the Season-these fruits and vegetables help to reconnect with the cycles of nature in the region we live.
  3. Support of Family Farmers- buying from local farmers gives them a better return for their produce and a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.
  4. Protection of the Environment- food from farmer’s markets is transported short distances and often grown in an earth friendly manor.
  5. Variety-the biodiversity at farmers markets is astounding. One weekend you may find purple cauliflower and the next stinging nettles. Variety is the spice of life in a balanced diet.
  6. Humane Treatment of Animals- most of the animals raised on small, local farms are raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets. They have never known the cramped conditions of cages or feedlots.
  7. Knowledge- Meeting and talking to farmers and food artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced.
  8. Cooking Tips-Farmers and artisans are passionate about food and they are always ready to share a special recipe
  9. Nourishment- Farmer’s market food is often grown by farmers that go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious varieties, picking just before they bring their produce to market.
  10. Community Connection- like CUESA says,” A farmers market is a great place to meet up with your friends, bring your children, or just get a taste of small-town life in the midst of our wonderful big city.

The Columbia Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 8am to noon (April-October) in the ARC parking lot (1701 W Ash St.) and 9am to noon (November-March) at Parkade Center (601 Business Loop 70W).  Additionally, from May-October you can find them on Wednesday from 4 to 6 pm in the ARC parking lot (1701 W Ash St.) and Thursday from 3 to 6 pm at The Forum Christian Church (3900 Forum Blvd.) Stop by, greet old friends and make a few new ones. Sunshine and nutritious food is waiting is for you.

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