Visiting the farmers market may be tough to fit into your schedule. Here in the Triangle, the Raleigh State Farmers Market is open every day—and they have restaurants that serve locally-sourced food. So if you get hungry while shopping, stop and have a bite. Supporting local farmers not only helps your community’s economy, but you benefit from having fresh produce and meats. There are also seasonal community farmers markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays in different pockets around the Triangle.
What if you can’t make it out to the farmers markets, but you want fresh locally-sourced food? Or you might have time to stop by quickly, but no time to figure out exactly what you want? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are the best way to tap into your local farmers’ products without spending too much time picking out each item.
CSAs are typically seasonal and you can contact a farm directly to inquire about their program. You receive weekly drop-offs of whatever is in season. Custom meat orders, produce, and eggs are just a few things to expect in your weekly box. Think it won’t be enough? If you speak to anyone who has used a CSA, you will quickly learn that deliveries are generous! It may prompt you to be creative and try new recipes. Some farms deliver to your door, while others have a drop-off point in town. Want to find a CSA in Raleigh or in your own area? I use Papa Spud’s or check out Local Harvest, a national CSA search site.
What about those days when you are wheeling the cart through the grocery store or trying a new restaurant, but not sure where exactly your food is from or what is in it? Many healthy eating apps help deliver information quickly wherever you are. Here are a few essentials:
Seafood Watch – Confused by the different choices in the seafood display at the supermarket, or you can’t remember the fish that are fed antibiotics when you are out on a romantic dinner date? Download the free Seafood Watch app from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. You can adjust your region if you’re traveling and the app will tell you good choices and bad choices when it comes to how fish are harvested. Available for iOS and Android devices.
Humane Eating Project – Trying to find those restaurants that serve humanely-raised food sources? This app is so new it is not even ready yet. This app is being developed for everyone: Vegans, vegetarians and omnivores! Sign up here to get an email when it’s ready.
True Food – The Center for Food Safety knows how concerned people are with genetically modified (GMO) foods. Not only does it deliver new information about research involving GMOs, you can browse products by type or brand and learn exactly what GMO ingredients are present. Available for iOS and Android devices.