Bethea's Blog

July 25, 2022 – Enjoy the Summer Season... And All of Its Bounty!

Where has the time gone? I can't believe that we've been in summer for almost two months now and I haven't mentioned this before, but I'd like to talk about one of my favorite things about this season... the markets where local farmers sell fresh fruits and vegetables! I just returned from my local farmers market with a shopping bag full of fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruits, along with a lovely loaf of freshly baked wheat bread and some miniature tarts. I love buying fresh food. There are so many benefits! It supports our local farmers, and it makes me feel that I'm taking care of myself with tasty, nutritious food, all while doing something positive to support my local environment.

I love hearing and reading news stories about the far-reaching benefits of consuming local and/or organic food, and its impact on our diet and environment, and I hope you do too. There's so much more awareness about the benefits of organic and/or locally grown food, and the importance of eating food that's free of harmful pesticides and hormones.

It's a win-win situation for all! Local farmers sell their produce directly to consumers and don't have to bother with packing and shipping factors or even concerns about food shelf life. And because local produce is brought to market when it's ripe and fresh, we consumers have access to produce that's more nutritious and tastier than the produce that's trucked in from further away. And, from an environmental standpoint, a local market minimizes pollution because there's less packaging that needs to be carted off to landfills, as well as less gasoline usage and emissions that long-distance transport and refrigeration require.

Stimulating your local economy is another reason to buy local produce. Farmers who grow and sell locally keep about 80% of their revenue compared to the mere 20% profit of farmers who grow food for large corporations and companies. This 60% in extra income circulates more in your local area, thereby boosting your community. And local farming encourages more fields and open areas, and less overdevelopment.

And last, but not least by any means, locally grown foods are much better for your general health. When produce is harvested, its nutritious value is at its peak. Produce loses freshness and nutritional value each day that it's en route to a destination. So, the sooner you can eat the fresh food you purchase, the better it is for you. And, as an added plus, local foods tend to be seasonal, which also benefits our health. Blessings to you!