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Posted on October 6, 2015 at 10:05 AM by Joanna Cortes
Local Health: Eating Locally Grown and Produced Foods here in Montrose County
When one thinks about health and wellness, diet and nutrition often come to mind. Nutrition experts recommend a well-balanced diet to help reach optimal health, often with great emphasis on getting plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. For the daily recommendations for fruits and vegetables, see the end of this blog post.
Another recommendation that is becoming more common when discussing diet and nutrition is to try to eat locally grown and produced healthy foods. Why is this?
As explained in the article “Local and Urban Agriculture” of Harvard College School of Public Health, “Current estimates indicate that, on average, produce travels over 1,500 miles from farm to table. This conventional transportation decreases the nutritional value of the produce…Farmers growing for a local (and especially a direct) market favor taste, nutrition and diversity over shipability when choosing varieties. Greater crop diversity from the farmer means greater nutritional diversity for the eater.”
Plus, minimizing transportation and processing helps prevent damage and ensure a fresh product for the consumer. This means potentially tastier foods as well. In addition to the nutrition benefits and quality of the food, eating locally can also support local economies. With all of this combined, it can be a strong incentive to search out and buy local food products.
Where can I find local produce and foods here in Montrose County?
Valley Food Partnership, a group of volunteers who work to connect “local farms to forks”, provide a comprehensive local food directory where you can find everything from vegetables, fruits, dairy and eggs, to meats and baked goods. To explore this directory click here.
Another way to find local foods is our very own Montrose Farmers Market. Often times, the idea of a farmers market is associated with summertime crops. Right now, the leaves are turning and “pumpkin spice” everything is popping up. Fortunately, fall is a season of delicious foods and the Montrose Farmers Market provides access to this, along with fun and events that everyone can appreciate.
Montrose Farmers Market, celebrating its 37th year in Montrose, has the mission of supporting local agriculture while promoting healthy eating and making local food accessible to everyone. What can you expect from the MFM during this season? In addition to a variety of foods, goods, and local talent, October 10 is the annual Fall Harvest Festival and Farm Fresh Fundraiser Luncheon. That Saturday, the Market will host a variety of family friendly activities such as a pumpkin decorating contest, face painting, horse rides, games and a small petting zoo. The Farm Fresh Luncheon, a fundraiser to help support the market, will consist of delicious food items and desserts highlighting local seasonal ingredients for a suggested donation of $5.00. This will be held from 11am -1pm. There will also be live music at the Plaza!
Lois Harvie, Market Manager for the MFM, explained that “The goal for the year’s Fall Harvest is to raise awareness of the Farmers Market and its importance as a vibrant gathering place for our community to shop, play and get to know their local growers and artisans! We also understand that it’s imperative to our mission to educate our local community about the importance of shopping local and eating fresh local foods and helping support local artists. We will be doing more educational outreach in the coming year through movies and workshops and by partnering with other organizations who have similar missions.”
This free event is open to the public! It will take place at the Farmers Market on Saturday, October 10, between 8:30 am – 2pm in downtown Montrose off Centennial Plaza and S. Uncompahgre and extending into the plaza on South 1 St.
Don’t forget to review the daily recommendations for fruits and vegetables for all ages, as provided by the United States Department of Agriculture.
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