Healthy Eating: Three Ways to Eat Local Foods

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Healthy Eating—The sad truth is that eating local is tougher and more expensive than eating “regular” mass-produced food. Otherwise, everyone would do it. But eating local does have one major thing going for it: it’s fun! You can eat local and have fun doing it. Find out how by reading the tips below and start using local food in your meal planning.

Simple Ways to Eat Local Food

1. Go to a U-Pick Farm

Take a field trip to a u-pick farm where you can spend a summer afternoon picking ripened fruit or veggies right off the land. Bring containers for carrying your picked goods, wear some comfortable sneakers, slap on some sunscreen, and get pickin’! The types of fruits of vegetables vary from region to region and season to season, but you can find u-pick farms and seasonal lists on the Pick-Your-Own website.

2. Visit a Farmers’ Markets

Going to a farmers’ market is an event. The people watching, the hustle n’ bustle, the aisles of fresh and vibrant food – there is no better way to spend an afternoon for a true foodie. Not only do you feel closer to the food you’re buying, you feel closer to those selling it to you. Find a farmers’ market in your area on the Local Harvest website.

3. Grow a Garden

The cheapest way to go ultra-local? Build a mini-farm in your own backyard! Believe it or not, gardening is therapeutic. According to Eva Shaw, PhD, “hospitalized patients’ wounds heal faster and they require fewer pain killers and antidepressants when they are merely looking at a painting of a garden.” Additionally, “gardening is one of the non-prescription interventions that has the ability to slow the rate of cognitive decline,” says David Carr, MD.

So what if you don’t exactly have a green thumb? Don’t worry, not many of us do. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables out there that are fairly easy to manage. Carrots, cilantro, basil, chives, peppers, and strawberries are among the easiest to grow. Spend your Sunday afternoons digging up fresh earth and feel the therapeutic effects of building your own local food garden.

So there they are, three ways to put your local eating into action. So what are you waiting for? Start eating local today.

How do you eat local? What do you love most about eating locally grown foods?

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

James Kim is a writer for  Food on the Table is a company that provides online budget meal planning services.  Their goal is to help families eat better and save money.

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