Today we have an awesome guest post from Shelly Stinson, about five easy ways to eat more healthfully and locally – my two favorite things! Check it out and let us know in the comments what you would add to this list! xo, belle
The benefits of eating healthy, nutritious foods include having an easier time controlling your weight, experiencing better moods, developing fewer diseases and illnesses, enjoying more energy, and living a longer life. And while you can find these types of good-for-you foods in a variety of different places, some of the best options you can choose are available locally.
This is good news since a few different institutes, such as Michigan State University in the U.S., contend that eating local foods means that you not only get more flavour, but you also get more nutrients because “local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table.” This allows it to keep more of its healthier qualities, providing you the most vitamins and minerals possible.
Based on this, here are five different ways that you can eat healthily and locally:
#1: Shop at a Farmer’s Market
Most communities have some type of farmer’s market at least part of the year, allowing you to pick up some of your favourite fresh fruits and veggies, and sometimes meats, within just a few miles of your home. One major benefit of using this option is that you have some wiggle room on price as these types of venues are common for negotiating lower costs.
#2: Contact Local Growers Directly
If you happen to live in an area that does not have a farmer’s market, you can still get healthier food by contacting local growers directly. This means talking face-to-face with a farmer who raises beef cattle or meeting one-on-one with someone who has a garden big enough to support their family and yours. By buying directly from an individual person, you’re in the perfect position to ask any questions you may have about how the animals were raised or the crops were grown, increasing your knowledge of the foods (and other substances) you’re putting in your body.
#3: Grow Your Own Food
Of course, you can always grow your own food if you have an extra bit of land and want to try your hand at filling your own dinner table. This way, you control everything that goes into your food, as well as what doesn’t—like herbicides, pesticides, and any other substances you don’t want leaching into your food, and therefore your body as a result.
#4: Get to Know the Produce Manager at Your Local Supermarket
Sometimes you just want to go to one place for all of your food items, which makes getting to know your local produce manager critical to your health. He or she can tell you which foods are bought locally and which ones come from other places. Additionally, if you’re in good with this person, you’re also likely to learn about upcoming fruit and vegetable deals, making it easier to plan your menu in advance.
#5: Use Local Food In a Way that Enhances Its Nutritional Value
Following this suggestion means not only getting your produce and/or meat locally, but also preparing it in a way that allows you to get as many nutrients out of it as you possibly can. For instance, you could juice your fruits and vegetables, enabling you to get all of the high quality vitamins and minerals they contain. Another option is to freeze any excess foods that are seasonal so you have access to their nutritious goodness all year long.
When you eat healthily and locally, it’s good for your body as well as the local economy. That makes it the best case scenario for your health and your pocket book!