Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Healing Power of Fresh Local Foods and Where to Find Them

Healing Power of Fresh Local Food:

1.  Eating local foods can heal the body and awaken the senses.  
North Carolina carrots,
shitake mushrooms,and
swiss chard
Okay, I'll admit it... I seriously love fresh local food.  I love the way a green bean feels fuzzy when it's fresh off the vine.  I love the unique shape and color of each bell pepper.  I love biting into a perfectly ripe tomato and the explosion of flavor that follows.  Eating local food is an experience... vibrant colors, naturally flavorful, and incredibly nourishing.  It just so happens that food which is freshest off the vine or out of the ground is the highest in nutrients and enzymes.  In other words, foods recently harvested have the most healing power.  

2.  Eating local foods supports a healthy community and economy within your area.   Going to the Farmer's market is full of social interaction with the farmers and vendors, friends, and family.  Spending time investing in others is one of the many keys to living a happy and peaceful life.   Investing your money into the local food economy also supports: organic farming methods, small business, biodiversity, and families.  

South Carolina prunes, peaches,
strawberries, pasture-raised
eggs, and raw milk
3.  Eating local food is an environmentally responsible choice.  Local foods are often times farmed using organic methods and do not need to be transported very far.  Organic farming provides less waste and eliminates the use of toxic chemical and pesticides which can harm animals and nature.  Transporting foods thousands of miles contributes to already astronomical uses of fossil fuels.  The burning of fossil fuels is causing a number of harmful effects to the environment.   

Choosing local food positively impacts body, mind, community, economy and environment.  

Where to Find Them:

South Carolina broccoli. Hands
down the most beautiful
I've ever seen.
Farmer's Markets are filling up this time of year with a large variety of local goods in cities all across the country.  It's amazing how many items are being created within a couple hundred miles of where you live.  Yet at the typical grocery store, the fresh produce is shipped in from around the globe.  One blatant example of this in Greenville, SC is that apples are often from New Zealand or Washington even in the middle of the apple season (even at Whole Foods).  I find this ironic when there are several huge apple orchards less than an hour away in Hendersonville, NC.  These apple farmers are producing more than 8 different varieties of apples (that's more than you can find at any grocery store).  Those local apples by the way - happen to be the best apples you'll ever taste.  

North Carolina fresh herbs,
zucchini squash, eight ball
squash, patty pan squash,
and two varieties of cucumbers
Why pay to ship food all the way across the country and world when we have it right here in our own back yard?  Why burn fossil fuels to transport food thousands of miles when it can be bought locally, oftentimes for less money, higher nutrient value, and considerably less damage to the environment.  There is clearly something broken and unnatural about our current food economy.  Fortunately enough, we live in the United States and we have a choice.  We can choose to buy local nutritious food and they are readily available at a Farmer's Market near you or even better - grown your own!  

Farmers Market's feature many seasonal and local items, including:

- Fresh Produce and Heirloom Varieties (Greens, squash, potatoes, figs, berries, dill, and many other fruits, vegetables, and herbs)
South Carolina assortment of
local produce, milk and eggs
- Raw cow's milk, yogurts, and cheeses
- Raw goat's milk, yogurt, and cheeses
- Eggs
- Honey and Bee Pollen
- Pasture raised and grass-fed meats
- Breads and baked goods
- Desserts
- Sauces and Condiments
- Plants
- Art, crafts, clothing and jewelry
- Personal care items
- Non-profits and miscellaneous services

Arrive early to take full advantage of each weeks items, bring grocery bags, and a full stomach.  It's usually best to plan ahead and bring cash.  Some farmer's markets have a nearby ATM and some accept ebt.  

Farmer's Markets in Upstate SC/Western NC:
This list is not comprehensive - google search to find your exact areas market.  

Downtown Greenville  Farmer's Market:
- Every Saturday from May-October 8am-12pm
- Downtown Greenville on Main St
- See video to the right ->

Greenville State Farmer's Market:
- Monday-Saturday from 8am-6pm all year round
- Rutherford Rd in Greenville

Simpsonville Farmer's Market
- Every Saturday from May - October 8am-12pm
- Simpsonville City Park

Hub City Farmer's Market:
- Every Saturday May -November 8am-12pm
- Downtown Spartanburg on Magnolia St

Western North Carolina Farmer's Market:
- Seven days a week from 8am-5pm all year round
- Near downtown Asheville

North Asheville Tailgate Market:
- Every Saturday 8am-12pm
- Inside UNC-Asheville campus

*Article and photos by Keri Rogers.  

Keri is an internationally Registered Yoga Teacher, Culinary Nutritionist, and Wellness Educator.  She owns and operates BAYA Wellness, LLC offering Yoga and Nutrition Services and Products.  Keri teachers both privately and publicly around the Greenville area offering on-going classes and special events.  Her path as a nutritionist is all about making healthy living approachable... she teaches the components of healthy cooking, eating, and thinking while also offering specialized services like menu planning.  Healthy living is about the whole pictures of wellness... find your path to living well.

BAYA... Be As You Are!
Contact me for details: Website or 

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