Eat LOCAL in 2023!
January is the time of year for new beginnings and fresh starts. A simple way to start 2023 fresh, in the truest sense of the word, is to EAT LOCAL. Eating local goes beyond visiting your favorite neighborhood restaurant (though we do encourage that option); eating local also means taking advantage of the many area farms to provide a variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products to create wonderful meals at home.
Resolving to focus on consuming local products is a healthy approach to eating. Food that travels less is fresher and more nutritious. From the moment produce is picked, it loses nutrients and antioxidants. Food that is harvested, then packaged, shipped, and held in a storeroom before being stocked and sitting on a shelf is not as healthy as the fruits and vegetables that go directly from the field to your hands. Even items frozen or canned or by your local farmer are more nutritious, as they were processed in small batches at the peak of freshness – no shipping from farm to warehouse to processing plant! Food safety is also a consideration; the fewer times a piece of produce or meat is handled means fewer opportunities for contamination and health risks. You also never have to worry about checking your UPC codes when foodborne illness outbreaks occur. You can taste the difference when eating local. Small farmers plant based on what works best in their soil and climate, and harvest when the crops are at their peak, so they are offering the freshest, highest quality produce to consumers. Local meat and dairy producers do not rely on synthetic hormones or medicines for their livestock, but instead use humane care and environmentally friendly practices to develop products that offer a variety of health benefits over their commercially raised counterparts.
Eating local impacts your community as well as your health. By supporting nearby farms, you help preserve scenic farmlands and open spaces. Their sustainable practices ensure that the natural beauty and recreational opportunities surrounding us will be available for many generations to come. Purchasing from local farms reduces the environmental impact of shipping long distances and travel between warehouses and stores, as well as the additional packaging required during every step in the process. Each purchase from a local farmer not only impacts the local economy directly, but also supports a business that in turn contributes to your community. For example, Emily’s Produce donated thousands of dollars this past season to local schools and fundraisers, and organizations such as Courageous Hearts Horsemanship at Windy Way Horses, Patriot Point, the Church Creek Fire Department, and the Maryland Food Bank.
Are you looking for an easy way to EAT LOCAL during these cold winter months? Consider joining the CSA Program at Emily’s Produce. We will be partnering with nearby farms to offer a variety of fresh produce, meats, and dairy products, as well as items grown here on our farm and frozen or canned for enjoyment during the off-season. Each box will also include fresh baked goods and local treats, to make your winter a season of good health and great LOCAL food!