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Locally Sourced Foods - Fruits, Vegetables, Meats, Seafood

Published: April 22, 2010 | Updated: April 22, 2010

As more and more stories appear concerning the nation's food supply, a grass roots movement among consumers to obtain fresh, healthy food is growing. Responding to this demand have been farmers, fishermen, and entrepreneurs offering a variety of locally sourced foods that offer an alternative to highly processed meals.

In Virginia, consumers are finding more options all the time, many right around the corner. Local foods are a good choice for healthy meals. In addition, many locally produced foods are sustainable. Buying locally supports our communities and is good for the environment. Switching to locally produced foods also reduces energy use related to transportation, processing, packaging, etc.

Locally sourced foods include fresh fruits, vegetables,baked goods, honey, jellies, preserves, eggs, cheese, meats and seafood. Sources of locally produced foods are sometimes a little out of the way but usually well worth the extra effort.

Hampton Roads farmer's markets are one of the best places to look for locally produced foods. Farmer's markets usually have vendors that attend on a long term basis, offering high quality foods. Other likely sources include seafood markets, roadside produce stands, neighborhood stores and specialty shops.

Some growers and producers offer direct sales to the consumer. These sources can be harder to find, but well worth the effort. Shoppers mainly find direct sellers by word of mouth or thru other sources of information such as local blogs or magazines. Among the best direct sellers are produce farms, orchards, wineries, organic livestock ranches, fish and shellfish farms and commercial fishermen.

By taking the time to seek out local, fresh foods, consumers are finding that they can enjoy delicious, high quality foods without chemical additives, expensive packaging or wasteful energy use.

 

Farmer's Market Baked Vegetables

Ingredients

2 cups whole baby or redskin potatoes
1 quarter head cabbage, cut into piece
2 carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
2 cups chicken stock
3-4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Coat the inside of a suitable casserole dish with olive oil.
2. Add potatoes, cabbage, carrots and stock. Add water if necessary so that stock level partially covers vegetables.
3. Add herbs, salt and pepper
4. Bake @ 350 degrees, covered until vegetables are just tender (20-30 minutes).