We love hearing about celebrities who eat sensible, healthy diets, and we love it even more when we find out that they prepare these meals for themselves. Not only did Jake Gyllenhaal recently discuss his love of cooking, he also revealed that he’s a patron of local foods.
“I’ve always loved cooking, probably because my father and mother always cooked,” he said. Gyllenhaal also collects old cookbooks, to inspire new dishes. “I have a massive section in my library at home of beautiful old cook books. I really have a strange obsession with them.”
This week, the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) released two complementary reports that revealed some head-turning information about America’s fruit and vegetable consumption. The 2010 Gap Analysis, which analyzed America’s fruit and vegetable consumption and a second report that examined consumer attitudes towards eating fruits and veggies reported that the “gap” between the fruits and vegetables that Americans should eat and what they are actually eating is costing Americans $56 billion per year in related health care costs.
“Fruit and vegetable consumption is low for a compilation of reasons,” said Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., president and CEO of PBH. “Despite the fact that fruits and vegetables are convenient, people are cooking less and eating out more, where there are fewer fruits and vegetables available. Restaurants account for only 3% of fruit and 15% of vegetables that are consumed.” (more…)
While much attention is paid to the environmental benefits of organic produce, the local food movement is starting to also make real headway. No matter how your food is grown, if it’s shipped from across the U.S. or even from another country, that’s a long way for your food to travel.
Locally grown foods are fresher because they don’t have to be picked before they’re ripe for shipping, and are less likely to be subjected to different means of preserving freshness. Many fruits and vegetables must stay in refrigerated trucks, which increases the amount of energy the trucks consume.
While there are some extreme locavores out there, introducing more local food into your diet isn’t as hard as it seems. Plus, eating locally puts more emphasis on eating fresh, non-processed foods that will benefit anyone trying to lose weight. When you eat locally, you’re also supporting the local economy. Here are a few simple ways to eat local.
Wal-Mart recently announced that it will be taking steps towards sourcing more of its produce locally. Eating locally is one of the best things you can do to protect the environment, by cutting down on the amount of fossil fuels that are consumed in the process of shipping, and the pollution created by emissions.
While the superstore’s measures are certainly modest, they do bring the issue of local eating to mainstream attention in a big way. Wal-Mart is the world’s largest grocer, so the decision to source nine percent of the produce it sells in the U.S. can have a major impact. Not only will it give more shoppers the opportunity to buy local, it will give small farmers a chance at more revenue and reduce food-waste and spoilage. In Canada, Wal-Mart intends to make as much as 30 percent of the produce sold local. “Our food business in Canada is brand new, so there’s a lot they can do,” said Wal-Mart’s vice president of sustainability Andrea Thomas, reports The New York Times.