Now that spring and summer are upon us, there are so many great seasonal fruits and veggies out that deserve some recognition! As a dietitian, I strongly believe in shopping local and supporting our local farmers, and farm-to-table establishments. It’s important to know where our food comes from.
So today, I’m combining my love for good, nutritious food and sustainability, because I think this is a very important topic! Thanks to Amanda, for hosting Thinking Out Loud!
Some Benefits to Buying Local Food:
- You’re supporting yourself. Studies have shown that locally owned businesses recirculate a greater share of every dollar in the local economy (Source). Plus, you’re cutting out the middle man and the farmer can circulate his profits throughout the economy.
- You’re supporting and investing in your community, laying down the foundation for the future. Encourage the local success and prosperity!
- Reducing the environmental impact. Food doesn’t have to travel as far, requiring less preservatives and transportation costs associated with food. Also, there is less carbon dioxide emissions, and less packaging materials needed. You are conserving energy
- More of a personal touch. You can drive to the farm or establishments you’re getting food from, if you really want to. You can reach out and communicate with the farmers and producers. Just as in you can get to know them, they can get to know you as the consumer also.
- There’s no gimmicks or marketing tactics, like in large scale grocery chains. You can buy what you want, not what others want you to buy.
- Acknowledging the assets your local community has and helping to keep it unique
- You may save money!
- The food is fresher and more nutritious (foods lose nutrients the more and longer they have to travel). It was probably picked or harvested in the past day or two.
Local Options in Your Area
I recently signed up for The Produce Box. If you’re not familiar, it’s a local food delivery system in North Carolina, focused exclusively on local produce and specialty products (meats, cheeses, breads) sourced from farmers near your area! They work with over 40 farmers throughout the state. It is picked and delivered to your door within the week, so you don’t have to worry about going to the grocery store or farmer’s market every week to get the freshest, locally grown produce. The Produce Box handles that for you!
The online ordering system is very easy and convenient. You’ll get an email on Friday with the menu options available that week – boxes range between $20-$35 (depending on what and how much you choose), and there are additional item add-on’s like cheese, meats, jams, nuts, etc. You just look through the options, pick the box or boxes that best suit you, and confirm. You have until Sunday to make your choices and then they will be delivered to you by Wednesday or Thursday of that week! Super fresh.
I went with the Garden Box, which comes with 1 English cucumber, strawberries, 1 bunch of Romaine Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, 1 Radish, and Sweet Potatoes. You have the option to customize your boxes and switch things out for a minimal up charge. For example, I switched out my romaine lettuce for beets (because we all know I love my beets). I also added a strawberry goat cheese because it sounded unbelievably tasty (and it is now my favorite goat cheese EVER).
I got my email on Tuesday that my box would be arriving on Wednesday, with the name of the person who would be delivering it. Throughout the whole process, The Produce Box is very friendly and keeps things personal, which I appreciated. They left instructions on what to do if I wouldn’t be home (leave a cooler out for anything that may need to keep cold).
Sure enough, everything arrived on time and Tammy (the delivery person) was so friendly and helpful!
Everything in my box was super fresh. I love how they also include a pamphlet with the produce in your box, which tells you how to store the foods and how they can be used. And as a bonus, they even include recipes for using your produce. They really seem to have thought of everything!
Someone also called me the following day to check and make sure everything was correct about my order. I felt like royalty throughout the whole process!
For my second order, I tried the Salad Box, which came with mustard greens, fresh blueberries, spinach, bibb lettuce, tomatoes, english cucumber, snowpeas, cremini mushrooms, and I added some Carolina whole milk yogurt.
The mushrooms were so fresh. PS – mushrooms are great for vitamin D and selenium!
I used most of the ingredients to make my Mustard Greens Summer Salad and I used the Carolina whole milk yogurt for the honey yogurt vinaigrette dressing!
Probably one of my favorite salads I’ve ever made because everything tasted so fresh!
Do you like to support local producers? Favorite things to buy at the farmers market?
I received store credit towards The Produce Box in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated monetarily.