For most of the country (except for the poor saps like me that live in Florida), the most delicious time of the year is about to arrive. As fall approaches, crops in fields across the country are ripening up and being harvested.
And that should be excellent news to anyone out there who enjoys healthy, fresh, and local foods.
Fresh, local produce is, in my opinion, the best option to improve the quality of food we are putting on our tables at home. It is also a great way to keep your money circulating in the local economy, though that’s another topic for another time. Fresh and local has a huge benefit over grocery store fresh, since it hasn’t traveled thousands of miles to get to your house. When produce is harvested to be shipped all over the world, it is often times picked well before it has had a chance to fully ripen. This causes the produce to be less flavorful, and may have an effect on the density of the nutrients. But produce grown locally is much more likely to have been harvested when it is actually ripe, and therefore be more tasty and better for you.
So this weekend, and for the rest of the fall, try to avoid the produce aisle at the grocery store and instead stop by the farmers market or produce stand. And when you do, you will no doubt find better food for you and you family.
To help find farmers markets, CSAs, and produce stands where you live, visit localharvest.org and enter your zip code. And to read more about the perks of shopping at farmers markets, check out this earlier blog post.