Celebrate the earth with local food

Happy Earth Day! The annual observance takes place this year on April 22, and it’s a great time to celebrate Earth’s beauty. People mark this day by cleaning up parks, picking up trash, growing plants, gardening and more. This day was created to show respect to the environment. 

There are many ways to show more respect for the plants, animals, and the planet as a whole. Several of these ways relate to food and nutrition, including eating local! Eating local is a sustainable practice that supports local farmers.

Eating local isn’t hard! Read the local newspaper or visit city hall to find out information about the farmers markets in your town. Usually, these markets happen once a week.  Most in the spring, summer and fall. New England has tricky weather for growing produce, but some towns have indoor winter farmers markets. No matter what the season is, farmers markets are great places to shop for fresh, local fruits and vegetables all year long.

Eating local is good for the earth in many ways. Buying fresh produce from local farmers supports their farms. It is also more sustainable. We save money, energy, and gas that would be used otherwise to ship food across the country and to large supermarkets. Visiting farmers markets and meeting the farmers helps us learn about where our food grows. If you talk to farmers at the farmers market, ask them questions about how they grow their fruits and vegetables or how their chickens are raised. Knowing where our food comes from helps us make healthier and more sustainable choices when we eat. The farmers are always happy to help!   

Eating locally is a good way to save money — fruits and vegetables purchased in-season are less expensive than out-of-season produce.  When you are at the farmers market, talk to a farmer about how they grow their foods. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, ask the farmer when certain produce is in-season. He or she will know the growing seasons of different fruits and vegetables.

You may want to try new foods after going to the famers market. Trying new healthy foods provides a variety of nutrients for the body, especially when the foods are in-season.  Remember to support your local farmers this year on Earth Day!