For weight management, try finding a garden over a food store.
How far has your food travelled? A lot of people don’t really think about how far their food has come before being put on their plate, but the truth is that the average ingredient in a processed food travels 1,300 miles before it reaches its final destination. For produce this number is even higher, averaging close to 1,500 miles. This is a long way to go for a bite to eat, and as a result of this transportation a total of 10 percent of fossil fuels in the U.S are used to transport groceries.
You may not realize it as you are sitting down to eat dinner tonight, but most American dinners are comprised of foods from five different countries. That is not to say that your pallet is ethnically diverse, either. Simple foods that you would think are available anywhere are shipped half-way around the world. In fact, food items typically spend a total of 14 days in the back of a truck before even reaching your local grocery store. The irony is that most of these foods are available almost anywhere—especially the produce.
Why Eat Locally?
When you make the decision to eat locally grown and produced foods you can eliminate a lot of the extra processing that so much of your food has to go through before reaching your plate. Local produce is grown right in your own neighborhood, and you can often purchase it from the farm it is grown on. This means that you can speak with the farmer and understand what types of chemicals (if any) were used during the growing process.
In addition to getting fresher fruits and vegetables, making the decision to eat locally will help you to avoid other sources of food that you know are bad for you, like fast food and processed sweets. There is nothing in a drive-thru that was grown locally, so if it takes making the lifestyle change to eat local foods to get you away from the cheeseburger then this may be a good idea for you.
Here are a few local resources that you can look into to find fresh produce in Central Ohio:
Clintonville Farmers Market: This outdoor market is up and running for three seasons out of the year, and only allows local farmers to come and sell their produce, so there is no risk of purchasing goods shipped in from second hand dealers. Located in the heart of Columbus, this market runs every Saturday morning, and is also open during the summer on Wednesday afternoons.
Pearl Alley Growers Association: This is a certified farmers market that runs every summer in Columbus, featuring a yearly festival that brings a lot of the community together to share in the enjoyment of locally grown produce. At this farmers market you can get all sorts of fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to honey, plants and jams.
Grove City Farmers Market: This market is located at the Grove City Town Center and features a variety of local produce and other products, including baked goods, vegetables, jams and fruits. There are also activities offered here, including a bounce house for the kids to enjoy as you peruse the vegetable selection.
Eating locally is not a weight loss plan—it could be a healthy lifestyle change that helps you to think more about the foods that you are eating. Always check with your weight loss doctor before changing up your dietary plan at all.