To expand upon my 2012 New Years recommendation for eating organic and nutrient dense food, I want to stress one additional point: eat locally grown foods as much as possible.
Here are 8 great reasons why eating local and shopping at farmers markets is great for your health (this info is excerpted from Nourish Life's website):
*Create relationships. Farmers markets offer a safe, outdoor space to meet and mingle with neighbors and food producers. More than just a place to shop, the farmers market is a place to build community around food.
*Enjoy food at its freshest and most flavorful. Food that is grown, produced, and sold locally taste better—and is better for you—than food that has traveled thousands of miles from farm to plate.
*Try new foods. Many farmers let you sample before buying. If you’re not sure how to prepare a particular fruit or vegetable, ask the vendor for suggestions.
*Get in tune with the seasons. When you shop at the farmers market, you discover the excitement of spring’s first cherry harvest and the first sweet potatoes of fall. Farmers markets educate us about what foods are local and when they’re at their peak.
*Learn the story of your food. By meeting farmers and food producers face to face, you can ask questions about how your food was grown, when it was picked, and what items are special or in season this week.
*Invest in local farms and businesses. By enabling farmers to sell their produce at retail cost, farmers markets help sustain businesses and families in your area, and provide a venue for new and small-scale farms.
*Preserve farmland and the environment. Farmers markets keep local farms in business, which reduces sprawl and protects farmland and open spaces. By encouraging local food production, they also reduce the use of fossil fuels and natural resources.Eat Well Guide.
*Give back. By shopping at farmers markets, you nourish your community. Help your market thrive by volunteering as an organizer, promoter, or greeter. If you don’t have a farmers market in your area, consider starting one (see the resources below).
To find out more about locally grown food and farmers markets in your area, check out Local Harvest or Eat Well Guide.