Summer treats | Valley Life

The great taste of summer is delicious. And I’m not talking about ice cream and sundaes.

Those too, but, I’m talking more about the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that can excite your palate. Best time to practice sustainable eating.

Conscious market shopping is a great way to celebrate it the whole summer. Local grocery stores, The Boulevard’s Farmers Market on Thursdays, is bursting with colorful array of delicious fruits and vegetables.

The My Plate symbol helps us to adopt healthy eating habits consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for America. The guidelines focus on balancing food intake with physical activity, encouraging us to consume more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products. The guidelines also urge us to consume less sodium, saturated fats, added sugars and refined grains. Translating the guidelines into your everyday life will also promote sustainable eating. So go ahead and fill your plate with local delicious tastes of summer as an informed consumer.

Sustainable eating is about choosing foods that are healthful to our bodies and our environment. Enjoy the good harvest, but also help preserve the food system for the future. The agriculture industry applies sustainable farming in the production of food and animal products, farming techniques and practices that protect the public health and the environment.

As consumers, here are some tips offered by nutrition experts who works with grocery stores and food businesses to help consumers eat healthfully:

• Buy locally — Buy foods at local farmers markets. Local farmers are committed to their communities and the money you spend at the market stays in the community.

• Eat seasonally — focus on foods that are available in season where you live to support sustainability. For example, buying locally grown cherries will help sustain our local growers without the transport and shipping fuel and cost.

• Retool your grocery list — Think bulk foods, more minimally processed food and more plant-based meals. Doing so translate into less packaging waste, less energy used to produce certain foods, fewer artificial ingredients, and chemicals in the food system.

• Initiate conversations about food — Start the conversation with the farmers at our market, personnel at your grocery store or the growing number of people who are paying attention to how foods get on their plates. You can discover new tips on how to incorporate sustainable eating in your everyday life.

• Tap your tap — Liquids are some of the heaviest items to ship around the country, requiring a lot of fossil fuel to tote them. They also generate a lot of packaging waste. Use alternative purifiers beverage mixers as you step away from packaged waters and drinks when possible.

• Grow something — It could be herbs in a pot, tomatoes on a patio or a small plot in your yard. Not much gives you greater appreciation for what it takes to create food than to grow your own. You understand the multitude of factors involved making plants thrive, and the attention needed to successfully grow food. Those insights will likely influence how you buy, use and dispose of food.

Growing your own garden can be a great family activity in the summer. Working together for a delicious harvest can bring more fun and family closeness. And if you’re feeling a bit forgetful nowadays, it’s best to feed your brain with some memory boosting foods.

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