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Celebrate Spring and National Nutrition Month: Eat Healthier!

Celebrate Spring and National Nutrition Month: Eat Healthier!

Spring officially starts this Saturday, March 20. The beginning of spring has long been associated with food. In fact, it was celebrated by ancient cultures, because they knew that it signaled a return of their food supply.

So, it’s no coincidence that the first day of spring has also been designated as National Agriculture Day, something I wrote about last year at this time.

As I noted last year, this observance is always hard for me since I believe in a more sustainable food system, and many of the “official” sponsors of the day are not sustainable farmers or even conventional farmers, but food processors.

Nevertheless, it’s an important day to acknowledge because it recognizes the significance that agriculture plays in our daily lives; something we often don’t think about now that less than 2 percent of our population are involved in farming. Many people have no idea where or how our food is grown and the other areas of our lives that agriculture touches.

Since agriculture is actually the oldest profession in the world, it is not a surprise that food plays such a central role as spring arrives and signals the start of planting season.

That is probably why March has also been deemed National Nutrition Month, started by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) as a nutrition education and information campaign. It focuses on making informed food choices and developing sound eating habits.

This year’s theme is “Nutrition From the Ground Up” and reminds us to focus on nutrition basics by eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods to create the foundation for healthy eating and disease prevention.

To get healthier, the ADA recommends that you take a good look at your current diet and see if you are eating enough fruits and veggies. They encourage people to add a serving each day to one meal and increase it every few weeks.

They also recommend looking locally for your fruits and vegetables. This means shopping at farmers’ markets or joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). As they remind us, it’s not only a great way to eat well, but you will be supporting your community at the same time.

Even the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is celebrating National Nutrition Month and has selected the theme of “Green Nutrition-Local, Sustainable, Healthy Eating.” This is part of its new “Know Your Farmer Know Your Foodcampaign designed to support local farmers.

Read more: Community, Conscious Consumer, Eating for Health, Food, Health, Life, , , ,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

66 comments

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8:43PM PDT on Apr 25, 2013

started my spring vegetable garden, can't wait for summer to harvest some of the goodies I'm growing

9:09AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Thank you

6:03AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Now, I don't eat liver nor red meats anymore. That's been years ago. But you can get your iron from all sorts of greens, prunes as mentioned already. Be careful though, about the potential for cholesterol problems if you eat too much liver and egg yolks. Beans are high in protein. Soy is good, but especially for women over 50 yrs of age.

6:00AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Megan, prunes have iron in them, and beets. Check this out:

To boost the amount of iron in your diet, try these foods:

Red meat
Egg yolks
Dark, leafy greens (spinach, collards)
Dried fruit (prunes, raisins)
Iron-enriched cereals and grains (check the labels)
Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops)
Turkey or chicken giblets
Beans, lentils, chick peas and soybeans
Liver
Artichokes
And here's a tip: If you eat iron-rich foods along with foods that provide plenty of vitamin C, your body can better absorb the iron.

7:59PM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

Just bought some organic granny smith apples and want to grow more of my own veggies.

4:23PM PST on Mar 8, 2012

Love this article. Thanks.

1:32AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

Thanks.

1:56PM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Learn how to cook and the healthy possibilities are endless and the money you save is great as well.

4:57AM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Thanks for the article.

8:29PM PDT on Jun 17, 2010

Thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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people are talking

Thank you for the article and some comments.

The cat next to the darling baby chick!!!

Peanut butter and apples is my absolute favorite snack. My dog loves apples too!

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