Sep 24 2014
The Essential Guide to Local Food and Health is Here!
Eight years ago, I moved to Asheville, NC and as a nutritionist, I began to make local food connections in Western North Carolina. I began volunteering and working on projects with Appalachian Sustainable Agricultural Project and I created a series of local food classes at the North Carolina Arboretum. I began shopping at our wonderful variety of farmer’s markets which now have become almost available year round to purchase more and more of my food and I have eaten at some wonderful restaurants in Western North Carolina where the main course is local food. Along the way, I have had the chance to meet some incredible people who have made our local food movement thrive. Five years ago, I began to think how I could share the story of these food heroes and the way that they help shape a healthier American Diet. That is when I started to blog about local farmers and provided ideas to my readers on food ideas based on seasonal foods. As a college professor, I want to teach others how to spark their local food movements and make them grow and help students make these connections. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I have the desire to help people eat a healthy diet based on fresh food where they live. As a researcher, I want to know if local food is really healthier than food trucked across the United States or shipped from overseas. As a parent and more recently a grandparent, I want the best for my family which includes access to healthy, clean food, a thriving local economy and a clean environment. I also grew to have a reverence for the farmers, chefs, bakers, food advocates and others who made the commitment to bring these foods to others and know “if we don’t support our local farmers” who will grow our food? If we get in a disagreement with a country growing our food will the food still get to us? Having access to food where we live in a form of national security, local community security and even food security. In the chaos of a major kitchen remodel (which was leveled to the ground), I sat down at the computer to write my book Farm Fresh Nutrition which is available on October 11. This self-published book contains contains seasonal menu ideas, farmers’ market shopping lists, tasty, healthy recipes, stories of local farmers and other food heroes in Asheville and across the Southeast, farm facts, nutritional information and some simple steps for everyone to begin more local, seasonal food where they live. The book contains the Local Green Plate which is a guideline that I have created to help plan seasonal meals. Sharing the success stories of how other people do things helps give us the tools to help us do things our own unique way. If you pick up a copy of Farm Fresh Nutrition, I hope inside its pages that you will find it full of inspiration to eat healthy, green & clean and local! Share these ideas with others and let them know about the book! Thank you to all of you who have encouraged me to write this!