Fruits and vegetables benefit kids in many ways, including improved nutrition, decreased obesity risk and better school performance, but most children don’t get the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Only 22 percent of toddlers and preschoolers and only 16 percent of kids ages 6 to 11 meet the government’s recommendation, according to Ohio State research. One-half of children’s mealtime plates should be filled with fruits and vegetables in order to reap the benefits.
Eating fruits and vegetables is necessary for proper health, but why is buying local so important? Eating local means more money stays within your community and every dollar spent generates twice as much income for the local economy. Local produce is fresher and tastes better because it is usually sold within 24 hours of being picked. If you buy produce at a conventional grocery store, it may have been kept in storage for days or weeks. Local produce has longer to ripen on the vine because it doesn’t have to travel long distances, this gives you a tastier, vine-ripened product. Eating local reduces your carbon footprint. When your food doesn’t travel long distances, you’re promoting better air quality and reducing pollution. Buying local food keeps us in touch with the seasons. Not everything is available all year round, meaning what grows is the most abundant, least expensive and at its peak.
These are just a few examples of the importance of supporting your local farmer markets.