Shop Local, Eat Seasonal

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Fall Offers New Flavors And A Variety Of Nutrition

Today, we enjoy the benefits of a global food trade that keeps a wide variety of fruits and vegetables available virtually year round. Whether it is asparagus, or blueberries, or any other food that was only available fresh at certain times of the year, most of us can get whatever kinds of healthy produce we want anytime we want, with few exceptions. 

 

There are pros and cons to this. Obviously, it is great to enjoy such a wide variety of healthy foods. Many of these foods, like blueberries, have been shown to promote health in a significant way. To that end, it is excellent to have these kinds of foods available as a staple in your diet. 

The global food trade has some consequences though, including an increase in pollution, deforestation, and repercussions for local farmers as larger, international companies move into more remote regions to farm. These problems highlight the responsibility that we all should take when it comes to trying to know where our food comes from.  

Another consequence of the global food system that we rely on, is that many of us have likely missed out on some of the benefits that seasonal eating confers. Years ago, our grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ diets were largely relegated to what was in season at the time. With that rotation of foods came a rotation of nutrients. 

There is likely something to be said for this connection with the cycles of the seasons, particularly in regards to giving our bodies the nutrients it needs at any given point of the year. 

Fortunately, in many places in the country, it is easy to regain a bit of this connection to the land. Shopping locally, by visiting local farms, weekly farmer’s markets, or joining an agriculture CSA are all ways that you can enjoy local produce that is in season. 

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There are a few benefits associated with shopping for your food in this way: 

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
Shopping locally and going directly to local farmers is a good way to know what exactly is in the food you are eating. Chances are, it is easy to find farmers who really care about growing healthy produce or raising animals the right way. Often, it is easy to find farmers who produce organic food for a fair price. 

There is also a good chance the food you are getting has not been stored in a silo or at all, which means it is less at risk for being contaminated with mold and mycotoxins. 

 

Support The Local Economy

Shopping locally is a good way to support the local economy. The way you spend your food dollars also speaks to what you value; shopping locally says that you value health, your local community, and the way your food is grown. 


Reduce Your Carbon Footprint 
Eating food exclusively purchased through conventional grocery stores takes its toll on the environment. Between flying food in from overseas and shipping it across countries, it takes a lot of fuel, and subsequently, pollution, to keep our shelves stocked with fresh produce. It is easy to diminish the burden we place on the environment simply by shopping locally. 


Rotation of Nutrients 
Introducing foods that are available at certain times of year introduces a variety of nutrients into your body, which is a good way to support health. Many people, especially on the Kaufmann Diet, get stuck in a rut of eating the same foods every day; forcing yourself to have a fresh supply of vegetables, many of which you would likely never otherwise try, is a good way to get a broad spectrum of health-promoting nutrients in your diet. 

 

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