Friday, July 23, 2010

Local Food Means Business!

Michigan's Governor Jennifer M. Granholm Radio Address – Farmers Markets

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm.

A healthier lifestyle begins with eating better, and that means including more fruits and vegetables in your diet.  If you’re seeking the healthiest and freshest and best-tasting fruits and vegetables, look for ones that are grown right here in Michigan.

Local food is fresher, it tastes better, and it comes from farmland near you.  And because many fruits and vegetables can lose up to 50 percent of their nutrients in just five days’ time, buying locally grown food is a healthier choice.

Michigan food producers offer an abundance of high-quality fruits, vegetables (and beans and legumes), meats and dairy products.  Our state is second only to California in agricultural diversity, making Michigan a key component in the nationwide local foods movement.

To help introduce the public to all the different kinds of wonderful food we produce in Michigan, we partner with local groups like Michigan Food and Farming Systems to host farmers markets on the lawn of the State Capitol.  These markets showcase the wide variety of healthy and delicious Michigan food products.

The first farmers market will be next Thursday, July 22.  The second farmers market will be September 16.  And again, both these farmers markets will be held in front of the State Capitol.

If you can’t attend the markets on the Capitol lawn, try visiting one of the 200 community farmers markets across the state.  For a list of markets, go to the Michigan Farmers Market Association website at (

That website again is M-I-F as in

When you purchase locally produced food, you’re helping to support Michigan farmers who provide beautiful and productive open spaces and habitat and who contribute to our tax base and employ local workers.

Michigan’s agri-food sector employs one million people.  It contributes more than $71 billion annually to the state economy.  Every year, Michigan exports more than $2 billion in agricultural commodities to other states, and another billion dollars worth to countries all over the world.
Buying local foods also boosts the Michigan economy.  If every Michigan household spent just $10 a week of its current grocery budget on locally grown and produced foods, it would generate almost $2 billion to circulate within our state economy every year.

So the next time you go grocery shopping, look for Michigan-grown blueberries, peaches, corn, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables.  Not only will the food be fresher and healthier and better tasting, you’ll be helping your neighbors and your community and the Michigan economy.

So for a Pure Michigan experience, buy Michigan-grown and produced foods.

Thank you for listening.

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The same is true for your own state. "Local Food Means Business" no matter where you live.

In addition, remember that "healthy soil grows healthy food, which nourishes healthy people who create healthy communities", a quote that I have used often in my blog postings by my professional colleague Angie Tagtow, MS, RD. Thus as a Registered Dietitian, I do recommend preferentially seeking out foods and food products to purchase that are both locally grown and organically grown, i.e., foods grown with agricultural practices that create healthy, living soil that along with clean water systems are the foundation needed to ensure long-term sustainable local food production and healthy communities.

So if you don't have time, space, or interest in growing some, most, or even all of your own food, please promote the economic health, environmental health, and public health of your local community by seeking out and supporting your local farmers (i.e., "know your farmer!") who are working very hard to grow healthy food for you while keeping our soil and water clean and alive to produce delicious, bountiful, beautiful, and healthy food for your community in the decades to come.

A great website to find your local farmers' markets is (check it out!).

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow, inch by inch and row by row!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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