*This story was originally published in the winter issue of HealthSource, Fletcher Allen’s health and wellness newsletter.
By Abby Wadsworth
Living in the Northeast, we are accustomed to changes in our food supply through the long winter months. We long for the bountiful produce that our summers bring. Cooking with local offerings in the winter can be a challenge, but with a little planning and research, you can become a winter locavore and bask in the season’s nourishment.
- Purchase Local Eggs, Meat, Cheese, Milk and Bread. Available year-round, local eggs, meat, cheese and milk can contain more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than their feedlot counterparts. CLA plays a role in slowing the progression of some forms of cancer and decreasing body fat. Buying locally made bread is not only fresh and satisfying, but if made with whole grains can be a good fiber source in helping to keep your weight in check.
- Winter Farmers Market. Offers an opportunity to explore winter’s bounty. Don’t know where to go? Check the Vermont Agency of Agriculture or New York Department of Agriculture for information.
- Consider a Winter CSA. Community Supported Agriculture, better known as a CSA, is an easy way to have local products selected for you. You might be pleasantly surprised to have a mix of vegetables, flowers, meat, eggs, cheese and bread. Looking for a CSA near you? LocalHarvest.org or your state’s Agency of Agriculture has information about participating farms and cooperatives.
- Be Adventurous and Try New Recipes. This is simple enough, but often forgotten. Trying new recipes, particularly recipes utilizing dried beans, lentils or locally grown grains can make winter cooking exciting and provide you with a varied healthy diet.
Abby Wadsworth is a Clinical Outpatient Dietitian for the Community Health Team at Fletcher Allen.