The only thing I can think of that’s better than biting into the sweetness of summer produce is…biting into the sweetness of LOCAL summer produce! Nothing beats freshly picked juicy strawberries or a crisp corn on the cob roasted at a family BBQ. Some of my favorite childhood memories are from visiting local farms and markets and bringing home baskets of fresh fruits and veggies, which my mom then turned into delicious feasts. On top of tasting great - local, seasonal foods offer other benefits including:
- Connecting you with your food: buying locally provides you with the opportunity to find out more about how your food was grown, raised and processed
- Saving you money: food in season is more abundant and can be less expensive
- Supporting local farmers: builds home-grown business and protects local farmland
- Decreasing environmental impact: the distance food travel to get to your plate is greatly reduced, which cuts down greenhouse gas emissions
Don’t know where to start when looking to buy local food? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Visit a local farm and pick your own berries. Be sure to pack a hat – the sun can get pretty hot.
- Check out a Farmers Market. Farmers Markets sell more than just fruits and vegetables, you can also often find freshly baked bread, free-range eggs, honey, salsa, jams, pickles and more!
- Enjoy local and seasonal foods regardless of where you shop! Most conventional grocery stores label local foods, so look for the BC Grown stickers or signage.
- Attend an Agricultural Fair, a family friendly activity. Consider using active transportation to get there if possible, such as walking or riding your bike.
Looking for new ideas on how to turn your fresh produce into healthy meals? Click here for yummy recipes using BC local foods; and if you want to go REALLY local, consider growing your own produce or herbs. You can buy starter packs of veggies, fruits or herbs to give you a head start!
Today's blog is written by Theresa Price. Theresa is a UBC dietetic intern with Island Health on Vancouver Island. As part of her internship she spent 2 weeks with the BC Ministry of Health, which gave her the opportunity to write this blog for the HealthyFamiliesBC website. Thanks Theresa!!