Do you know your farmer?
Though a meal eaten alone has the same nutritional value as one consumed in company, humans instinctively gather together over food. The world over, food is a way to bring people together. These days there seems to be a lot of vigorous debate about our country's political direction. In honor of local food month, farmers markets will be appearing in our nation's capital. This is something almost anyone can agree on regardless of their political stripe.
Bernadine Prince, co director of the Farmers Market hopes, "this farmers market will inspire cities and communities throughout our country and the world to transform public spaces into marketplaces filled with healthy, local foods from family farms. I also hope that this farmers market will be a model for making fresh food available to all people, regardless of income."
Perhaps the President will be willing to contribute some of the food grown from the White House Organic Garden, which is often compared to Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden. The White House garden was prepared by the Michelle Obama with the help of children from a local elementary school.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has also taken some steps to promote local food products. Check out the link for Know your farmer, know your food, a initiative that is meant to connect consumers to local producers. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reports,"Reconnecting consumers and institutions with local producers will stimulate economies in rural communities, improve access to healthy, nutritious food for our families, and decrease the amount of resources to transport our food." USDA also provides a youtube video of the benefits one can obtain by visiting farmers markets.
If you happen to walk near the Farmers Market this weekend stop by one of the vendors and teach your child the importance and benefits they can have from eating local food. Locally grown food reduces energy consumption and is often healthier. There is less risk for people to get sick from pesticides.
More information on local food can be found at the Local Food Marketplace.