Going to a farmers market is a great way to make sure you are eating fresh, healthy foods and reducing your carbon footprint by buying locally. They also allow farmers to establish relationships with their customers and create a sense of loyalty.
The USDA maintains a National Farmers Market Directory where you can locate a farmers market near you, find out what products are available there, and the types of payment they accept.
If there is no farmers market in your area, consider starting your own. There may be grant programs available to help you get started.
Loss of power can jeopardize the safety of your food. Know how to tell if food is still safe for consumption:
Summer is nearly here, and kids will soon be out of school for a few months. Unfortunately, for some children, that leaves the question as to where their daily meals are coming from.
However, there are programs available for eligible children. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides meals to low-income children while school is out for the summer. These meals are free, meet federal nutrition guidelines and are available in areas with high concentrations of low-income children.
Find out if free meals are available in your area or how you can get involved with providing them.
For many families, preparing a grand meal is a tradition they look forward to during the holidays, but it’s no fun if someone gets food poisoning.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 million people in the United States get sick each year from eating contaminated foods.
You can avoid foodborne illness by following these tips:
1. When buying food:
- Choose fresh items and check the expiration date for everything you buy.
- Foods that need to be refrigerated, such as meat, eggs and milk, should be the last things you buy at the store.
- Place meats (chicken, fish, pork and beef) in a separate bag. The liquids that spill out of these items can contaminate fruits, vegetables and other food in the refrigerator.
- If you’ll be driving for more than an hour after you go to the supermarket, take a cooler to store the items that need refrigeration.
2. When handling food:
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling any food.
- Wash fruits and vegetables with a brush to remove any dirt or soil residue.
- Do not wash meats before cooking. This could cause bacteria to contaminate your sink and other kitchen surfaces.
- Defrost meats in the refrigerator or microwave. Defrosting them at room temperature can cause bacteria to multiply.
- Wash the knife and cutting board that were used to prepare meat before using them on other food items to avoid contamination.
3. When cooking food:
- Cook meats after defrosting them. Don’t leave them out of the refrigerator for too long.
- Make sure the meats are cooked well inside and out. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
- Don’t put freshly cooked items next to raw foods.
- When cooking meat, do so all at once. Avoid partially cooking meat and refrigerating it with the intention of completing the cooking process later.
4. When storing food: