Buy local – buy fresh 4 health

September 16, 2008 at 1:19 pm Leave a comment

Better yet, buy it ultra-local from your backyard or someone else’s if you can. Why I just ran into someone in Ottawa actively looking for people to garden in their backyard for 20% of the produce in Ottawa. (grins)

Hire your own food gardener!

Anyways this article is just to indicate that some health people are actually thinking “let’s start preventing bad health instead of putting band aids on it all the time.” Probably the lead health officer is the one at Toronto Public Health.

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Buy local – buy fresh

Medical Officer of Health column

Simcoe Muskoka Health website

Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

20 Aug 2008

http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Communications/MOH_Columns_08/20080820.asp

If you think that bringing home a basket of plump locally grown tomatoes or berries from a nearby farmer’s market is just a summer treat for you and your family, think again. Aside from doing your taste buds a favour by eating fresh, you might be surprised at the other ways you and our communities benefit from buying locally grown produce.

Vegetables and fruit are good for you. Canada’s Food Guide recommends at least four servings every day for Canadians two to three years of age and more for older age groups, although only 37 per cent of adults in Simcoe Muskoka reported meeting the minimum recommendation in 2007. Choose locally-grown produce, in season, to benefit from the most nutrients, especially heat- and light-sensitive vitamins like A and C that tend to break down when foods are transported or stored for any length of time.

Local produce is also kinder to the environment. We are hearing a lot about lifestyle changes that can reduce our impact on the environment. Buying local means choosing fewer fruit and vegetables transported from other countries thousands of kilometres away, which means less fuel burned and less pollution.

We can reduce our dependence on outside food sources by choosing locally grown produce whenever possible. Supporting our farmers helps build a more secure and sustainable local food system. It also means that over time we will be less affected by food supply and safety issues that originate in other countries. It’s not unusual these days for concern about contaminated food imports to result in a sharp decline in the supply of a common food, tomatoes being a recent example.

So what can we do to make sure we are able to reap the benefits of local foods? You can start by getting to know your Simcoe Muskoka food producers by visiting one of the numerous local farmers markets. Not only will you find produce that is both fresh and local, you’ll find great fruits and vegetables that are seldom sold in grocery stores.

Buy direct. Take your family on an outing to local farms that sell fresh produce and ask farmers about their products and farming practices.

Support the local economy by choosing local produce over imported items more often. Next time you’re in the grocery store, check where produce like cucumbers or peaches come from. You may be surprised to see that the some of the fruits and vegetables you assume are “home grown” actually come from thousands of kilometres away. Speak up and let grocery store managers know you’d prefer local produce.

When dining out, let restaurant managers know that menus featuring locally grown vegetables, fruit and other foods will get your repeat business.

For more information, call Your Health Connection 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday at 721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520. Ask for your copy of Canada’s Food Guide and Simcoe County Farm Fresh Buy Local! brochure. For more information about local food and farmer’s markets check http://www.foodland.gov.on.ca and http://www.simcoecountyfarmfresh.ca.

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Entry filed under: Environment & Sustainability, Food, Local Agriculture, Urban Agriculture, Urban Gardening. Tags: , , , , , , .

SMALL FARMS ARE MORE PRODUCTIVE AND PROFITABLE Organic Garden Space Available

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