So why are vegetables and fruits so good for us? Fresh vegetables and fruits are packed with antioxidants, nutrients and fiber, yet are low in calories. One of the best ways to get fresh vegetables and fruits is from local farmers markets. There are many advantages to buying locally. Buying local produce benefits the consumer, the economy and the environment.
Foods grown and sold locally are more likely to be fresh. Many growers pick their produce right before selling, allowing the food to have the fullest possible flavor. Buying local foods keeps dollars in your own community, supporting the local economy. Additionally in many cases, you are supporting the strong American tradition of the family farm. Buying local also helps the environment. Because these foods are sold close to where they are grown, they do not have to be shipped long distances, diminishing the environmental impact.
To find farmers markets in your community, check your local Ohio State University Extension office in your county or your local chamber of commerce and ask if they have a local foods guide. Some great websites to check out to find local farmers markets in your area include:
The Ohio Market Maker: Connecting willing markets and quality sources of food from farm and fisheries to fork in Ohio. http://oh.marketmaker.uiuc.edu/
The Ohio Farm Bureau: The Our Ohio Buying Local Directory connects customers to the farms and farmers that produce local foods, plus agritourism opportunities, plant nurseries, wineries and Christmas tree growers. http://www.ourohio.org
What fresh vegetable or fruit are you going to buy local this week?
Buy Local Buy Fresh http://www.buylocalbuyfresh.net/displaysection.php?section=About
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/downloads/State-Indicator-Report-Fruits-Vegetables-2013.pdf
Local Harvest http://www.localharvest.org
Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County, email@example.com.
Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, firstname.lastname@example.org.