The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.
Did you know that when you shop Heinen’s Produce Department you are supporting local farmers? Amazing, right? It’s like visiting a good old fashioned farmer’s market, but without the bugs!
This isn’t something new and trendy for Heinen’s. In fact, we’ve been selling locally grown produce since the 1930s, and today we’re buying produce from more than 150 Ohio and Illinois growers.
We offer a wide selection of local organic and other locally grown produce items from our own backyard all throughout the year. These partnerships guarantee products are harvested and delivered to our stores at the height of ripeness.
Here are four good reasons to buy more local produce the next time you visit Heinen’s.
1. Better Taste
“When you have the best and tastiest ingredients, you can cook very simply, and the food will be extraordinary because it tastes like what it is.” – Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution
Local produce tastes better because it’s fresh, ripe and seasonal. Think of the last time you enjoyed a ripe tomato straight from the vine. There’s nothing like it!
At Heinen’s, our local produce often arrives the same day it’s picked. You can’t find much fresher than that!
2. Better for You
“The sooner you eat fresh foods, the more nutritious they are.” – Unknown
Fruits and vegetable lose nutrients during transportation. Since local produce is harvested at the peak of the season and gets to you quicker, it retains more valuable vitamins and minerals.
Bottom line, local produce offers a better nutritional bang for your buck.
3. Better for the Environment
“If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. That’s not gallons, but barrels. Small changes in buying habits can make big differences.” – Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Because they aren’t traveling thousands of miles, local produce contributes to less pollution and fewer carbon emissions. Known as greenhouse gas, carbon emissions trap heat and are a primary driver of climate change.
4. Better for the Local Economy
“Understanding where your food comes from, trying to bolster local farmers and local economies and having a better connection to the food around you and the people around you, only good can come of that.” – Amos Lee
Spending money in your local community gives the local economy a boost. It’s called the “multiplier effect,” or the amount of local economic activity triggered by the purchase of any one item. Generally, the more a dollar circulates in a community, the more income, wealth and jobs it creates.
Shop Heinen’s locally grown produce and you’ll be rewarded with freshness, flavor and peak nutrition, all while benefiting the environment and the community in which you live.