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 www.nooherooka.com