The Mission of LewisCountyTable.com
TED Talk by Mark Bittman — “What’s Wrong With What We Eat”
The greater Lewis County and Southwest Washington region is home to many proud farmers who grow, produce and harvest a large variety of foods and products, right here in our community.
This site seeks to inform local consumers as to where they can buy and purchase local produce and items, educate them about the benefits of shopping and eating local and to expose our visitors to local growers, producers and small business owners they may not have known existed right here in their own community.
Why Locally Grown Foods, Produce and Products?
- Locally grown food is full of flavor. When foods grown and produced locally, they are picked, harvested and packaged at their peak of ripeness versus being harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to retail stores. More often than not, food items such as produce, etc. at local markets has been picked within 24 hours of your purchase.
- Eating local food is eating seasonally. Even though we wish strawberries and other favorite food items were grown year round, the best time to eat them is when you can buy them from a local grower. With fuller flavor and improved taste than the ones available in the winter (and that have traveled thousands of miles and picked before they were ripe), you’re sure to notice the clear difference in quality.
- Local food has more nutrients. Local food has a shorter time between harvest and the time your purchase and prepare/serve your food. Therefore, it’s less likely that the nutrient value has decreased or been reduced. Food imported from distant places, out-of-state and other countries is often older, has traveled and sits in distribution centers before it gets to a retail or “big box” store.
- Local food supports the local economy. Money spent with local farmers and growers all stays in our communities and helps businesses and services in your community thrive and continue to grow.
- Local food benefits the environment. By purchasing locally grown foods from local farmers and small business owners, you help maintain farmland and green and/or open space in your local area.
- Local foods promote a safer food supply. The more steps there are between you and your food’s source, the more chances there are for contamination, decreased nutrient value and reduced quality. Food grown in far away locations have the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping and distribution.
- Local growers can tell you specifically how the food was grown. You can ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops, such as whether or not their farm is certified organic. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about your food.
Organic Agriculture at Washington State University
Yakima Valley Community College Agriculture Degree Programs
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