Guest Post by our friends at Produce Source Partners, the company who helps us bring locally grown produce to our residents every day.
Eat local. Support your farmers. What does this mean and why is it so important?
There is an old wives’ tale that eating local honey will help reduce your seasonal allergy symptoms. But why is that? It’s because local, raw honey is made from the local pollen and is packed with nutrients that don’t get destroyed during the refinement process. This same concept also applies to your produce.
But, what is local produce? Almost everyone you ask will have a different definition of local, however we consider produce harvested within the state to be local. Unfortunately, we are not in a state that has the vast summer selection year round. So if possible, eat as seasonally as you can. However, if you’re craving that red pepper in the middle of winter, we are not here to tell you not to eat to eat it. But, local produce tends to have a higher nutritional value than non-local. Post harvest, produce begins to age. As anyone who has ever let their fruit or veggies sit in the refrigerator too long, you know that there is a big difference in taste and texture from the day you brought it home and eating it a week later. “Eating local” means less transportation time on the produce which results in a fresher product for you to eat.
Eating local is more than just about getting a fresher product. You are supporting your local farmers. When you buy local product, you are putting money back into your local economy. Virginia farmers consist of mainly of families who have been harvesting for the land for generations. In addition to the fresher, nutrient dense product, you are also being more eco-friendly. The closer the product is grown to the end user, the fewer amounts of fossil fuels are used in transporting the product resulting in a lower carbon footprint.
Eating local is the more than a catch phrase. It really is about helping the environment and the local community, as well as getting the freshest product around.
Contact your local community to reserve a time to taste the difference we offer with Farm to Table dining today!