There is nothing like a tasty local peach, strawberry, or tomato. Such juice and flavor – yum. Fresh and local is nothing like the produce that has been picked prematurely, shipped great distances, and finally ripens (hopefully) in the grocery store, or more accurately after you bring it home. How many dud peaches, pears, or apples have you gotten that are grainy with no flavor or big beautiful strawberries without flavor, or pithy dry oranges?
If you want your recipes to taste great, you have got to start with food that tastes great to begin with. Using fresh fruits and vegetables in your salads, soups, stir-fries and smoothies makes all the difference. Yes?
Tomatoes – One Superb Example We have all eaten pale store-bought tomatoes. Yucky Pooh! Hothouse tomatoes and tomatoes picked green do not have much flavor (any?) – yucky tomatoes. Buy plump, ripe, locally grown tomatoes for the best possible taste. Locally grown (or home grown) vegetables taste best because they are picked in their prime, and they have higher quality nutrients for the same reason. And the soil they have been grown in usually has not been messed up by tons of chemicals and overgrowing.
So What Should You Do to Get Great Produce?
* Does your city have a Farmers’ Market? Definitely shop there if you have one for fresher, tastier, higher quality produce. You can get acquainted with the local farmers and ask how their food was grown. Many use little or no pesticides or chemical fertilizers (my preference for sure).
* Do you have a vegetable subscription program in your area where farmers form a coop or alliance to provide their fresh produce to people who buy a weekly subscription?
* If you live near "u-pick" farms, definitely take an outing there during seasonal picking sprees. You can pick the very best, commune with nature, see the farming operation, and support local commerce. It is fun and economical. And be sure to bring your children. Education starts early about food choices. If they pick it they will be more likely to eat it. Try it. You will be amazed at the truth of that statement. Yes they will eat green beans and okra and blueberries, and zucchini. Yep. It is true.
More Reasons to Buy Local, Seasonal Produce Whenever Possible
* To support the local farmers. Farmers need your business to stay in business. If we want to have access to good food, we need to keep doing business with them.
* To get higher quality food. When food is grown locally, it is picked at its prime when the nutrients are the most fully developed (and the flavor too).
* To reduce costs (including environmental costs) associated with transporting foods cross-country or internationally. When foods have to be transported great distances, they are usually picked before they are ripe in flavor and nutrients.
My Little Exception
I confess that I do buy some things out of season from other countries or states that have been shipped long distances to me (and probably grown with more pesticides) – bananas, pineapples, avocados, and mangos. Bad, bad Cheryl. But life is too short to be perfect. I will be perfect when I’m dead (no wise cracks). Point is, do not get crazy about your food. Make wise, conscious choices and do the best you can.
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