Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Salute to Local Farmers on Earth Day

I have never seen people work harder in my life than the farmers. A small family with big hearts, dreams and the strongest of work ethics reach an even bigger community through the animals they raise and the foods that they sell. In many ways, it can be said that the farmers help others to enjoy the fruits of their labor.  

Customers seem happy and support wellness in the community.  The farmers can feel a great sense of accomplishment when folks line up for their home grown products. That's easy to see viewing the line of cars lined up for weekly curb side pickup during the COVID-19 closings. 

I'm already a believer in local foods, the freshness of the products and safety in knowing the grower.  "Real food is food we trust to nourish our bodies our farmers and our planet."  This was the theme of Kimbal Musk's keynote address at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo 2017.  In many communities, the local farmers market is the place to find real food. Farmers markets may be the best venue to unite folks wanting fresh, local, whole foods to nurture their families. 

What I value most from the Farmers Market are the friends I have made.  Everyone smiles, thanks you and remembers your name.  I'm lucky to have connected with individuals that I can talk, (even if it's electronic), learn and shop.

I'm so encouraged by the sustainable meat and array of vegetables that our local farmers grown and sell.  I applaud the few local farmers who are expanding their fields to include whole grains.

So on this Earth Day 2020, here are tips for merging health, agriculture and wellness.
  • Act locally.  As much as possible, buy sustainable meat, produce and whole grains grown or purchased locally.
  • Prepare healthy foods at home. Choose recipes based on the season with ingredients that use whole foods.
  • Emphasize nutrient rich foods.   "The food we feed America should make people healthy."  Choose recipes rich in nutrients for the number of calories contained. 
  • Feature animal protein. "Animal agriculture is part of a sustainable diet." Locally raised animals are treated with tender loving care by our farm family friends.
  • Minimize food waste.   43% of Americas food waste is in the home. Utilize leftovers when planning meals.

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