There are several reasons I like to use in-season produce that is locally grown. First and foremost, it just tastes better. And as a plant-based chef, that’s incredibly important to me.
But the reason it tastes better is because the fruits and veggies are fresher. They haven’t been flown in or shipped across the country or around the world. And they haven’t been covered in plastic, or been bleached to stay fresh. (Yes, bleached. Ew!)
Local produce is also more nutrient dense because it hasn’t been sitting on a truck or a shelf for weeks. The second produce is picked,the nutritional value begins to diminish. So the sooner you eat your fruits & veggies, the more nutrient packed they will be.
Buying locally grown produce at the grocery store is becoming much easier these days and is usually labeled so you know the local farm it came from. But if you have the time, it’s check out your local Farmer’s Markets and Farmstands. You get to meet the farmer’s who so lovingly grew your food, you see and connect with the same people every week, and you really feel a sense of community. Going to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market has become a ritual of mine and my family’s over the years and it’s something we always look forward to.
Plus, if you’re lucky enough to live close enough to some farms that you can actually visit and buy from directly, don’t pass up the chance. And bring the kids if you’ve got ’em! You get to see for yourself how your food is grown and you can say hello to the animals roaming around. What could be more fun than that?!
Not sure where your closest market is? Head over to Local Harvest, enter your address and they’ll connect you with markets local to your area.