February 7, 2018
CHICAGO – Shopping locally can be a great way to add healthful foods to your diet while conserving natural resources. That’s why the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to “Go Further with Food” by choosing foods that are healthful to the environment and their bodies during National Nutrition Month®, celebrated each March.
Food purchased at farmers markets often is more affordable and tastes better than at commercial grocery stores because it is locally grown and naturally ripened. Buying locally grown food also helps conserve natural resources and has a minimal effect on the environment.
“Supporting local farmers markets enables us to produce healthful food today and for generations to come,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy spokesperson Libby Mills.
Plan ahead when you shop locally. Bring a shopping list and purchase foods you know how to prepare.
“Talk to your local farmers about less familiar fruits or vegetables,” encourages Mills. “They’ll usually be able to share how it’s grown, what it tastes like and several ways of preparing and serving the food.”
Be sure to purchase ingredients for salads and produce for side dishes that go well with fish, chicken or meat entrées. To prevent fruit from rotting in the fridge, estimate how many pieces you’ll need for your lunches and snacks for the week.
“Sustainability is about making the best possible choices for your health, the health of the community, the environment and those producing your food,” Mills says. “Sustainable practices build strong communities, diverse ecosystems and healthy individuals.”
As part of National Nutrition Month, the Academy’s website includes articles, recipes, videos and educational resources to spread the message of good nutrition and the importance of an overall healthy lifestyle for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. Consumers can also follow National Nutrition Month on the Academy’s social media channels including Facebook and Twitter using #NationalNutritionMonth.
As a founding member of Further with Food Center for Food Loss and Waste Solutions, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is committed to cutting food loss and waste in the United States in half by 2030. Visit furtherwithfood.org/resources/ for great tools and resources.