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Good Nutrition: Start in Your Own Backyard
Wednesday, March 3, 2010 • Posted March 3, 2010

You’ve probably heard the phrase, "Think globally, act locally." With all the chaos in the world today, do you sometimes feel your own personal voice can’t be heard? The truth is you can make a difference.

March is National Nutrition Month and the theme is "Nutrition From the Ground Up." This year’s focus is on starting slowly and making small steps towards attaining a healthier lifestyle. And getting more acquainted with where your food comes from is a great first step on that path.

Did you know that locally grown food generally tastes better because local food may reach the farmers market the day after being picked from the vine? And the big grocery store produce takes an average of one week to reach the shelf? Are you aware that buying from the local farmer helps the environment and supports the local economy?

There are ways you can support the community and educate yourself about what you feed yourself and your family.

• Create your own container garden by planting herbs like rosemary and sweet basil. For more about growing and cooking with herbs, go to www.bluelabelherbs.com

• Talk to your coworkers and neighbors about organizing a food co-op

• Establish a community garden at your local church or school. For more ideas, go to www.localharvest.org and www.gotexan.org

• Ask your local garden store to form classes on Spring vegetable gardening, curative & fragrant plants or budget gardening

• Become a certified Master Gardener, visit www.texasmastergardeners.com

• Save your fruit and vegetable scraps and start a small compost pile in a sunny corner of your backyard

• Be educated from your iPhone. There’s Apps for that, of course, try Fresh Fruit, Them Apples and LocaVore

• For creative cooking ideas fruits and vegetables, try Five-a-Day Fruit and Vegetable Cookbook by Kate Whiteman, Greens Glorious Greens! by Johnna Albi and Taste of Home Market Fresh Cookbook, watch Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger on the Food Network on Saturday morning and check out www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org

These ideas are just a few ways you can get started on your journey to gain more knowledge about your food environment. Remember...you are what you eat!

Sandi Graham is a dietetic intern at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas who completed a community nutrition rotation with Neva Cochran in February.

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