I love Saturday morning. It’s market day. My husband and I get up early to drive to our local farmer’s market. We begin our outing with a big breakfast prepared by one of the local farmers, using his own products and those of the other vendors.
With full bellies, it’s time to shop. Now that the spring is here there’s an abundance of fresh produce to choose from. Asparagus, spinach, salad greens, kale, sprouts and bok choy. We also pick up eggs, meat, chicken and fish.
As a holistic health coach, I see a disconnect between what and how we eat and what our bodies really need to survive and thrive. Shopping and supporting local farmers markets are one way we can get back-to-basics and reconnect with where our food comes from, how it is grown and choosing the most nourishing foods possible.
Here are my top reasons for shopping and eating local:
The community. At your local market you can talk to the farmers and vendors about their products. Ask questions about how things are grown and raised. You see familiar faces and chat with friends and acquaintances. It feels good to support local.
The quality. Local organic food is minimally processed compared to grocery store foods that are grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and are genetically modified. Fruits and veggies are as ripe as they can be. Poultry, meats and eggs are grass-fed and pasture-raised.
The variety. In some provinces the choices for fresh, local produce are limited. So experimenting with new ways to prepare root veggies becomes a fun challenge. In the warmer months, the variety and selection of fruits, vegetables and products provides endless opportunities for adventurous cooking and eating.
The seasonality. Our bodies change with the seasons and crave different foods. Buying local and seasonal gives us exactly what we need, when we need them. Root veggies in winter to stabilize and warm us. Salad greens, sprouts and herbs in spring to lighten and invigorate. Berries and fruits in the summer to cool us. Pumpkins and squashes in the fall to nourish and soothe.
The environment. Most North American grocery store food travels an average of 1,500 km to get to our plates. This uses large amounts of natural resources, causes pollution and fills our landfills with extra packaging. Food from the local farmers’ market travels much shorter distances and is grown in more sustainable ways with less impact on the environment.
Farmer’s markets across Canada are popping up to fill the demand for local food. Get out to your Farmer’s market today. It’s food as real as it gets.
Michelle MacLean is a certified Holistic Health Coach practicing in the Halifax area. She is passionate about whole foods, living from the heart and inspiring others to make natural healthy choices through individual coaching, cleanses, corporate programs and workshops. Contact her today for your complimentary health coaching session. www.michelle-maclean.com