Monday, December 21, 2009

Serve Local Foods at your Holiday Feast

How far does your food travel?
Food grown in Berks County was probably picked within the past 24 hours. It's crisp, sweet and loaded with flavor. Produce flown or trucked in from California, Florida, Chile, or South America is much older. Several studies have shown that the average distance food travels from farm to plate is 1,500 miles.
1,500 miles!

There are many other reasons to enjoy local Berks County food on your plate:

• Fresh produce loses nutrients quickly.
Food that is frozen or canned soon after harvest is actually more nutritious than some "fresh" produce that has been on the truck or supermarket shelf for a week. Locally grown food, purchased soon after harvest, retains its nutrients.

• Local food supports local farm families.
Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail prices for their food - which means farm families can afford to stay on the farm, doing the work they love.

• Local food preserves open space.
As the value of direct-marketed fruits & vegetables increases, selling farmland for development becomes less likely. When you buy locally grown food, you are doing something proactive about preserving the agricultural landscape.

To find out where your can buy local food and to download a Farm Market map of Berks County, click here to visit the Penn State Cooperation's website.

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