Today on KCCI Channel 8 News I will be discussing
This is a topic I am very passionate about so I am excited to highlight it today on my blog. Agenda:
- Share a couple tasteful and seasonal recipes for using your purchased local produce.
- Highlight some benefits to buying fresh and local.
- Share how easy it is to find farm fresh, local foods.
- Resources to learn more.
Heirloom Tomato, Basil, & Mozzarella Salad
from Simply Recipes
Heirloom tomatoes, sliced
extra virgin olive oil
balsalmic wine vinegar
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Assemble the salad with slices of tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella slices. Sprinkle extra virgin olive oil over the salad. Add a dash of vinegar and a very light sprinkling of sea salt and pepper.
Other popular recipes I have posted using local produce:
Benefits to buying fresh, buying local:
1. Helps strengthen the local economy - buying local foods helps support growers in Iowa, who are more likely to reinvest their revenue back into their own community. This builds and strengthens Iowa's communities.
2. Protecting the environment - local foods travel on average 45-65 miles while most food items found in the supermarket travel around 1500 miles. The added travel supermarket produce goes through increases pollution from the extra transportation, distribution, and packaging.
3. Protecting your family's health - You can get to know your local farmers and learn about their farming practices. This enable you to choose farmers who avoid or limit the use of pesticides, chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified seeds.
Also, you get max health benefits from fresh produce. When a tomatoes is allowed to ripen on the vine it gains valuable nutrients. Local produce is typically harvested within a day of it being purchased, since it has such a short distance to travel to make it to your plate. This 'on the vine' ripening allows the produce to retain higher nutritional value than those harvested, handled, and transported thousands of miles. Basically, an increase in travel means a decrease in nutrients.
4. It just tastes better! No one from Iowa can deny the sweet goodness of peaches and cream corn purchased from a farm stand on the side of the road. I challenge all my readers to purchase some local produce this week and share their fine food moment with the rest of us.
So easy to buy local:
According to an economic analysis of Iowa's farmers' markets, in 2004 Iowa had around 160 farmers’ markets, the highest per capita in the nation. Full report: www.leopold.iastate.edu/research/marketingfiles/marketsrfswg.pdf
Another wards....there is no excuse to NOT find one near you. To find a market.
I visited the Valley Junction Farmers Market last week:
scrumptious blueberries and scrumptious things made with blueberriesTurtle Farms located in Granger, IA last week to learn more.
"A CSA Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between growers and consumers that seeks to recognize the importance of healthy food and the manner in which it is grown. Consumers (or CSA members) share costs of supporting the farm, including the risks. In turn, members receive locally grown, fresh, wholesome food grown in a sustainable and responsible manner by a farmer that they know." -from Turtle Farm's website
Turtle Farms was one of the first CSA's in Iowa. Angela (owner) and Ben (farm manager) are proud to grow all organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
you receive your "share" as a box of produce each week throughout the growing season
Angela and Ben gave J and I a tour
they grow everything from okra and bell peppers, to sweet potatoes and strawberries
getting ready to plant more veggies!
Find CSA's at http://www.localharvest.org/
Take your family for a fun filled day at Picket Fence Creamery
Find local grassfed meat at http://www.eatwild.com/
Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good