Buy Local, Eat Fresh!
By Kaitlyn Suggs, RD, CD-N, Sodexo Registered Dietitian
With warmer weather on the way, get ready for fresh and colorful dishes with spring and summer produce! Winter months are a challenge for eating quality produce since there are limited options at our grocery stores. Not to mention produce travels hundreds (or even thousands!) of miles to get to your table. This summer, make it a point to buy your food local. You can also save money by purchasing produce in season.
Eating fruits and vegetables in season offers many benefits. When you buy local from businesses such as farmer’s markets, the food is fresher. You can bypass produce that is subjected to “artificial ripening” with gases and avoid bland tasting products. Local foods are also better for the environment by avoiding hundreds or thousands of miles of travel to your grocery store, which in turn, decreases the carbon footprint of your food. Along with benefits to the consumer, buying from small businesses in your community is great for the local economy. Since local foods move through fewer hands, more of the money spent will end up in the pockets of the farmers who grow the food.
The best part of buying in season is that it saves you money! When produce is at its peak, you can buy larger amounts at a lower cost. You can keep extra in the freezer to help with meal prep in the off season.
Here are some examples of fruits and vegetables that will be in season for June and July:
- Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries
- Sweet peppers
- Summer squash
Learn where you can find local farmer’s markets in your area.