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Make Thanksgiving Local, Fresh and Nutritious

According to Connecticut shoreline based, registered dietitian and nutrition specialist, Dr. Holly Finley David, the most nutritious food is the food that takes the least steps to make it to your plate.

This is just one of the plethora of reasons why you should aim to get as many ingredients as you can, for your Thanksgiving dinner, from local farmers.

“Eating local any time of year is a great way to be healthy, get better tasting food and serve your family a fresh option,” said East Haddam farmer, Aaron Taylor, of Four Root Farm.

He added “You are also supporting local farmers, the local economy and your own community. Another great reason to buy local, for Thanksgiving dinner, is because there are some components of the dinner that are native to Connecticut, like turkey, mushrooms and sunchokes (tubular shaped root vegetables, from the sunflower plant family, that have a nutty, earthy flavor). Some of these items, such as the sunchokes, can’t be found in the grocery store.”

So, why not take the plunge this year and gather your goods for a bountiful Thanksgiving feast, locally?

It’s easy!

For a local, pasture-raised, turkey you can order a bird from Gozzi’s Turkey Farm in Guilford (203)-453-2771, Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm in Sterling Connecticut (860)-564-0248 or Bluebird Farm in Willington, CT (207)-330-0905.

For the rest of the meal, the best place for one-stop shopping – a local farmer’s market. Not to worry, there will be two this weekend in New Haven. One on Saturday, at Wooster Square, and Sunday in Edgewood Park (both New Haven markets are put on by CitySeed). The New Haven markets will also have local cranberries available from Killingworth Cranberries, which can also be purchased at Bishop’s Orchard.

Bishop’s is also a great place to pick up some locally made, fresh apple and pumpkin pies for your special day’s dessert and a couple of bottles of locally made wine to accompany your meal.

“Most food travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate, so the more you can cut that number down, the more nutrients you keep in the food,’” explained Finley David. “Not to mention the fact that a large amount of produce is picked before it is fully ripened, so it ripens in transit, which also causes it to lose most of its nutrients. That’s why I tell my clients to buy their food locally whenever possible. Its better for you and it tastes better.”

Agreeing, Taylor added that local food has a lower impact on the environment, it’s fresh and it’s quality food.”

So, no matter your reasoning; whether it’s because of taste, values, nutrients or community, try something new this Thanksgiving. Try Local! And be thankful!

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