The fifth annual Rooting for Health (RFH) event takes place tomorrow in five Kids Eat Smart Clubs throughout the province. RFH is a way to teach children the importance of healthy eating and the relationship with eating local foods in our communities. In keeping with this theme, I want to stress the importance and health benefits of buying local foods.
Locally grown foods are always fresh and taste great. They have little additives and provide us with a great source of vitamins, minerals, and high quality proteins. One of the other benefits to buying local is that in many cases, depending on where you buy your food, you can often speak to the farmers themselves and ask questions about the foods you are buying instead of reading it on a package.
Throughout our province we can buy various produce (fruits, berries and vegetables), dairy products, eggs and meats locally. Many of our local farmers begin their season in May and run through October and November. Right now, although the air is still cool and snow remains on the ground, in some places of the province, there are still local foods that you can purchase. Dairy products, eggs and meats can be purchased all year around. For the most part, produce is available late spring, all summer and early fall.
All year around, but especially now and in the months to come is the prime time to buy local. Get out there and visit your local farms, farmers’ markets, road-side stands or even the local grocery stores….you’ll be sure to find some delicious local foods!
Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador