Healthy Beginnings

Load Your Table With Local Foods

You’ve likely heard of the farm-to-table (also called farm-to-fork) movement, where food consumed is produced locally. The emphasis in this practice is often on organic farming, and sustainable, community-supported agriculture.

We are lucky in that we live in an area that truly supports and fosters this sort of healthy living. Are you taking advantage of it? You may not be able to raise your own livestock or grow your own produce, but there are a number of resources right here in northern Nevada, to help you and your family reap the rewards of many farmers’ and ranchers’ hard work.

Why seek out locally grown foods? Here are five great reasons!

  1. Grown locally, foods are harvested and delivered to you at their peak ripeness or quality, rather than sitting in transit for days or weeks.
  2. Nutrients. With the shorter time between harvest and your table, locally-harvested food retains more of its nutrients.
  3. Economy. Buying local foods means the money is spent with local farmers and growers, keeping the money local for reinvestment in the community.
  4. Safety. Not only are there fewer steps between the ranch or farm and your table, resulting in a reduced risk of contamination, local harvesters can tell you exactly how the food was grown.
  5. Environment. Local harvesting helps maintain farmland and green/open space in the community, which is also good for wildlife.

Did you know that many local restaurants also support the farm-to-table movement, buying local foods as often as possible? In addition, there are many retailers who carry locally-sourced food to make it easier for consumers to purchase. You can find more information about these restaurants and retailers, as well as a list of all local farms and ranches at http://nevadagrown.com, a nonprofit group who supports and encourages sustainable agriculture and healthy eating for Nevada’s communities.

Also, please be sure to check out our comprehensive list of area Farmer’s Markets starting on page 24 of this issue. If you’re not already shopping for local meats and produce, you will likely be quite surprised at the amazing tastes of fresh – truly fresh – foods. But be sure to freeze or can some of your favorites when they’re in season, so you can enjoy them year-round, because after you experience locally-sourced fresh foods, you’ll be spoiled for everything else.

References:

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/7_benefits_of_eating_local_foods

http://nevadagrown.com/