Many people are realizing the benefits of eating local food and supporting local food producers such as small farmers. Although going to the farmer’s market in the summer is a great way to get your hands on local produce, there are many other ways to ensure the local eating continues throughout the entire year. However, many people find that tracking down these sources can be difficult at first. Online resources are helping to change that as more and more people get connected with local farmers and growers.
Find Local Farmers
If you have no idea where to start on your hunt for local food sources, there are websites that provide the information you need. You can input your zip code and search for farmers. Many times the farmers will have websites that highlight what they provide such as eggs, grass-fed meats or produce. If they frequent farmer’s markets, you may be able to find that out here as well. The location of each farm or person is provided, as is a phone number. This is an excellent starting point for those seeking to eat more local foods and support their small farms.
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A lot of shoppers have probably noticed more and more “organic” labels and sections in the supermarket over the past few years. In the produce section, in the meat department, and even in the freezer section, more and more foods are being certified as organic. So what exactly is all the hype? What does it mean if something is labeled organic?
What Organic Food is
Organic food includes not only plants that are grown in a particular way, but also the way in which animals are raised. Organic plants are grown without the use of chemicals, such as pesticides and fertilizers. While there are organic fertilizers and pesticides, they don’t involve the use of toxic chemicals. Some organic farmers use the simplest of pesticides, such as ladybugs! Fertilizers that are used don’t involve chemicals and also avoid sewage sludge.
Organic meat comes from animals that have been raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. Further, animals that are certified as organic are typically healthier than animals grown in commercial feed lots. These animals usually eat safer food which means that consumers down the road are eating healthier food as well. Finally, animals that come from organic farms are usually treated more