By Allie Coulter, PRO Medical Registered Dietitian
There are several reasons to shop locally and support our PNW family. Here are my top five reasons why it’s great to support local farmers not only at this time but throughout the year.
Additionally, please remember to follow the recommended guidelines regarding safe shopping at this time. This includes planning ahead and limiting your shopping trips to once weekly.
1. Support our Local Economy (and Not Just During COVID-19)
When we support local businesses, we are giving back to our community. You will be making a big difference on the livelihood of local farmers vs chain super stores.
Ways to support local farmers:
- Shop at farmers markets.
- Join a CSA (Community Supportive Agriculture).
CSA programs are a way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Think box subscriptions from local farmers!
- Eat at local farm to table dining establishments (or carry out).
Ecolibrium is a local certified organic farm with a CSA program and less than two miles from our PRO Club Willows location. They believe in sustainable growing practices on their diversified 2+ acre farm. Learn more about them here.
Ballard and University Districts farmers markets reopened for a trial run and are following strict health and safety precautions. For the most updated information on their markets, please check in on their websites. information check out the websites below.
Buying produce that is in season is often less expensive. Why? This goes back to simple supply and demand. The product is more readily available, which lowers the cost for us.
3. Eat with the Season – It’s Better for Your Health
Food grown locally and in season are more nutritionally dense (containing higher amounts of vitamins/minerals) due to being harvested at peak of ripeness. Often produce traveling further to get to our grocery stores as been picked before it is ready. Ripening agents maybe be used, including physical methods (edible coating), chemical (anti-microbial or anti browning agent) or gas (ethylene) to preserve the produce.
Food that is picked and sold in season taste better. It isn’t difficult to identify home grown tomatoes compared to the grocery store tomatoes. This is often due to the transportation process and ripening agents used.
5. Environmentally Friendly
Produce that is purchased from local farmers often doesn’t have the associated impact from packaging, examples including plastic containers, bags or wrapping. Although is does not have a huge impact, cutting down the transportation of food does reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Spring Seasonal Produce
PRO Medical’s Registered Dietitians provide personalized meal plans and education to support you in making realistic lifestyle changes and in achieving your individual goals. We have experts in a variety of areas and provide support for adults, pediatrics and families.
For healthy recipes that you can use these seasonal ingredients in, view our recipes here.