Being conscientious about choosing seasonal and locally grown foods is an easy way to keep our environment and our bodies healthy this fall!
Choosing foods that are harvested in their natural growing season and that are produced from farms close by offer tons of benefits. Because local foods travel shorter distances from the farm to consumers, there is less pollution and less energy involved in transportation than foods that are traveling longer distances. The same is true for seasonal foods. Local and seasonal foods also tend to be fresher because they are picked and available for purchase in a shorter amount of time than foods coming from farther away. You can also find local and seasonal foods from small farms, which often use farming methods that create less pollution and waste than larger farms.
Thankfully, eating locally and seasonally in the fall is delicious! Apples, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin are symbolic as seasonal fall foods and they also happen to be versatile in countless recipes. For a full list of seasonal fall produce and great recipe ideas, visit Fruits and Veggies More Matters to find your favorites.
Shopping at your local farmers market is a great starting place to find locally produced foods and seasonal produce. Although people often think of these markets as occurring during the summer, there are a number of them that run throughout the fall. In addition to providing local produce, some offer other staples like eggs, bread, dairy products, and meat depending on the vendors. Consider stocking up on your favorites and freezing them to extend their shelf life. Visit vintagehudsonvalley.com to find a market close to you.
Don’t feel like cooking? Local foods are also making their way onto menus at restaurants. The Hudson River Valley offers some great suggestions throughout the region to get you started.
– Contributed by Greta Kollmann
Dietetic Intern 2013 – 2014 and MS Candidate in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, Teachers College, Columbia University.