Let [local] food be thy medicine
Hippocrates said “Let Food be Thy Medicine and Medicine be Thy Food”. We are a nation in a health crisis – obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and autoimmune diseases are all on the rise, leading to an increase in use of medications, hospitalizations, surgeries and general decrease in quality of life. But what if, by eating better quality food, we could turn some of these statistics around?
Locally grown food has many pluses over the same foods that are commercially grown and shipped from long distances. Local food has less pesticides…unlike mass produced products most local farmers grow using organic practices, they just can’t afford the “certified organic” designation by USDA. Local food is grown and harvested to be bought, cooked and eaten within a short period of time. It travels much less distance than its mass produced counterparts. This means that it doesn’t lose nutrients in the shipping process. Local farmers generally use production methods that focus on good soil management (vs chemical fertilizers), making produce more nutrient dense. Harvesting methods play a role in nutrient density as well. Mechanical harvesting of mass produced food reduces nutrients vs hand picking of local foods. Mass produced produce are often preserved with chemicals for the long trek to the grocery store, further reducing the nutrients. Finally, small farmers are able to grow many different varieties of each kind of veggie or fruit, which adds to the diversity of our diets, not to mention delicious flavor!
Here are links to a few resources for local food in the Bucks County area: https://www.buckscountytaste.com/local-food-guides/local-farmers-markets/
If you are interested in buying from a local, permaculture farm, Farmer Jen in Kintnersville (267-474-6786) has beautiful produce available.
Bottom line – We are what we eat. If we eat a rainbow of nutrient dense fruits and veggies (plus some lean protein and whole grain), we will improve our energy and our health. Local farming is good for our community and our bodies so support your local farmers this summer!!