EAT LOCAL NOW: Take the Challenge

By: Kristen Borre, Growing Up FIT!
By: Kristen Borre, Growing Up FIT!

Growing Up FIT! is challenging eastern North Carolina to invest in the local economy and healthy eating by becoming a “local-vore” for at least one day each week.

Take THE Challenge: Eat food for at least one day per week for the year from local or regional growers!   Growing Up FIT! is challenging eastern North Carolina to invest in the local economy and healthy eating by becoming a “local-vore” for at least one day each week. If one day is too challenging…start with just one meal! If eating local is new to you, try purchasing all of your vegetables, fruits, and eggs local. Meat, chicken and seafood are also available locally, but vegetables and fruits are widely sold at farmers markets and roadside stands or at farms near your home.


Why do this? 
Across the nation, Americans are changing the way they live, improving their health and local economies. They are buying locally grown food, learning to cook simple meals for family and friends and dining out at restaurants serving locally grown foods. This new American cuisine can keep family farmers in business and dollars flowing in local marketplaces. When you buy at the grocery chain, only about 9 cents of your dollar stays in your community. When you buy from the farmer, 80 cents of your dollar is invested locally. If North Carolinians purchased just 10% of their foods locally, it would increase NC revenues by 3.4 billion dollars over a year! 
Eating locally also reduces food safety problems, provides higher quality foods richer in vitamins and minerals and reduces transportation costs and the carbon footprint. Locally grown foods taste fresher and more delicious. Children are more likely to eat vegetables that they buy from a farmer they can visit or see at a Farmers Market. 
You CAN do this!
Growing Up FIT! and WITN-TV will help you to take the challenge. Find answers to your questions and share your knowledge of local eating, foods, and recipes. Learn what foods are available seasonally and where you can find them. Kristen Borre, a nutritional anthropologist and mother of three who have eaten local all of their life will provide tips and simple recipes. Kay Sokolovic, a mother of middle and high school students will share her secrets for feeding a busy family. Jennifer Wilson, an ECU Senior business major, will write about how college students can eat local too. We welcome your suggestions, recipes, comments and questions!   Eating local is fun for the whole family: let us know how it is working for you.
DOWN ON THE Eastern NC FARM Week of August 16h
Vegetables: Tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, green bush and pole beans, okra, field peas, onions, potatoes, eggplant, butternut squash, yellow squash, patty pans, zucchini, late sweet corn, and a variety of fresh herbs are abundant. 
Fruits: Watermelon, cantaloupes, peaches, are at their peak. Figs are coming. Blueberries are almost done. 
Seafood: Scallops, shrimp, flounder, tuna, blue crab, silver snapper, wahoo, and mahi mahi are NC caught and available from local seafood vendors at farmers markets, fish vendors, and at the coast.
Poultry, Eggs, and Meats:   Eggs are sold by many local farmers directly to the public or at farmers markets. USDA inspected and processed locally grown chicken, beef, lamb, goat, and rabbit can be found at some local farms and markets. For example see Nooherooka Natural Angus Beef Products All Natural, Humanely-Raised No Hormones or Antibiotics at
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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Steve Location: LaGrange, NC on Sep 16, 2009 at 07:49 PM
    Eating locally grown produce in my opinion is much more benificial to the consumer for a multitude of reasons. Most of which have already been stated here. It's fresher (therefore more nutritions than imported), safer, Provideds valuable vitamins and minerals to maintain health,some have been prooven to reduce the risk of some cancers, they are very filling, provide energy. Yes, produce from other areas of the country also provide some of theses benifits, but it is very doubtful that they are even close to being as fresh as locally grown produce. In buying locally grown, you are helping yourself, the local farmer, and the community in which you live. In most cases when I buy locally it is much cheaper and always fresher than in a supermarket chain. Support your local or regional grower, and benifit yourself, your local grower, and your community.
  • by Robin Location: Greenville, NC on Sep 12, 2009 at 05:29 AM
    This is an excellent opportunity to try locally grown produce! From a nutrition standpoint, we often do not get enough fruits and vegetables in our day to day diets. These foods are nutritious and provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber—all things that keep us healthy and help to protect against chronic disease such as heart disease and some cancers. In addition, eating fruits and vegetables help to promote healthy weights. Naturally, they are low in fat and calories and are very filling. Planning ahead has helped me think about getting in more fruits and vegetables throughout the week. Many times, I look at what I already have in my house and try to combine ideas. This makes it easier when I buy local produce (because I already have an idea of what I want to prepare). I have also gotten several great recipes from the Farmer’s Market Nutrition Education Program.

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