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Q: What are the benefits of locally grown produce?

Posted August 14, 2013 in Advice Column, Downtown

A: Did you know that you don’t have to travel to the farmers market to find locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables? That’s right! You can find the same fresh local products in your neighborhood Fleur Drive Hy-Vee store. Hy-Vee carries a wide selection of foods grown locally from our Midwest family farms under our Hy-Vee Homegrown label. Stroll through our produce section and look for the Hy-Vee Homegrown signs to discover exactly what farm the food you are buying was grown on.

The benefits of purchasing locally grown produce are vast. As far as taste and quality, local produce can’t be beat. It tastes like it just came out of your own backyard garden. With less distance for the produce to travel, you are provided with the very freshest food .

Not only does purchasing locally grown produce provide health benefits for you, but it also is a good thing to do for the health of the Earth and our environment. When your fruits and veggies don’t have to be transported across the country, gas usage is kept to a minimum and resources aren’t wasted. This means less pollution for the environment.

By buying locally, we are able to support the local economy of farmers and ranchers who live in our Hy-Vee communities while bringing our customers the very freshest food. Consider stopping into your Fleur Drive Hy-Vee to check out your community’s locally grown produce under the Hy-Vee Homegrown label today, and don’t forget to ask me, your registered dietitian and nutrition expert, for tips for picking out the best produce.

Local vegetable medley
Serves 5

All you need:
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks
1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks
1 small yellow zucchini squash, peeled and sliced
1 small red onion, cut into large chunks
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp. Mrs. Dash original blend

All you do:
In a large sealable plastic bag, combine bell peppers, zucchini and onion.
In a small bowl, stir together olive oil and seasoning blend.
Pour olive oil mixture over vegetables in plastic bag. Seal and shake gently to coat.
Set in refrigerator for one hour to marinate.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Arrange vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
130 calories, 8 g carbohydrates, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 11 g fat, 2 g protein, 0 mg sodium, 3 g sugar.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Information provided by Anne Cundiff, RD, LD, Fleur Drive Hy-Vee, 4605 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, 515-285-7266,

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