Better Ways to Get Your Produce
Farmer's Markets and Growing Your Own Trump Produce the Grocery Store
Harvard Health Letters
What's better than fruits and vegetables from the supermarket? Those you buy from a local farmer or grow yourself. Frequenting a farmers' market or growing your own produce can give you a new relationship with food, and perhaps with people; be good for your heart and muscles; and help you eat more fruits and vegetables.
Up on the farm
Wandering through a farmers' market on a breezy summer day is a feast for the senses -- writer
Another way to enjoy fresh produce and support a local farm is to join a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. These offer a bit of bucolic
Grow your own
For the ultimate fruit and vegetable experience, grow your own. The energy you invest in planting, weeding, watering, and the other tasks needed to help your garden grow will pay off for your heart, blood vessels, muscles, and mind. The bounty of your harvest, whether it's from a simple summer garden or a more elaborate three-season venture, is good for the taste buds and spirit.
If you don't have space for a garden but are itching to grow your own, look into joining a community garden. It could be a large plot that many people work on communally or many individual plots side by side, each with its own gardener.
Benefits beyond food
You get more than just fresh food from a farmers' market or garden. You soak up sunshine and make much-needed vitamin D. That's good for your bones, heart, immune system, and mood. The change in venue may help you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. A review in the
There's a social aspect that is also healthful. A
Finally, shopping in a farmers' market or growing your own produce may be good for the health of your community and the planet. Both help decrease the amount of fossil fuel needed to transport food and protect fast-dwindling open space.
It's a win-win situation, from your taste buds to your carbon footprint.
To find a farmers' market or community garden near you, these Web sites have interactive online maps that list locations by ZIP code:
--Local Harvest (www.localharvest.org) for farmers' markets.
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