With the concern of obesity across the country, eating healthy foods has never been more important – or so easy and affordable. In Missouri, the state’s hardworking farmers offer fresh produce, meats and more at 200-plus farmers markets across the state, allowing consumers to eat farm-to-fork meals. Most markets open in spring and offer foods throughout the fall, giving lots of seasonal options. Missouri-grown products can also be found at many local grocery stores year round.
“People need to be aware of the produce that is grown locally where they live so that they can ensure they’re getting seasonal produce at the best price,” says Whitney Reist, a registered dietitian and lifestyle blogger at sweetcayenne.com.
Reist, a dietitian for eight years, currently consults as the Missouri Beef Industry Council’s dietitian and teaches as an adjunct faculty member at University of Missouri’s Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. She says that not only is eating local an easy way to eat seasonally, but it’s also a great way to support your community at the same time. “That’s very important to me and my family,” she adds.
More Bang For Your Buck
Reist has several tips that she gives to patients on easy ways to eat healthy. One of her favorites is that when it comes to choosing foods, try to get as much nutrition bang for your buck as possible.
“That means to select foods that pack a lot of nutrition into a small amount,” she says.
A good example is Missouri beef, where for every 3-ounce serving of lean beef, consumers can get more than 10 percent of essential vitamins and minerals, but less than 10 percent of the day’s calories.
“It’s called the 10-10-10 Rule, and basically it means you get a lot of good nutrition in a small amount of beef for little calories,” Reist says. “Some of the nutrients that you’ll find in beef include zinc, iron, vitamin B12, selenium and, of course, protein.”
On her blog, Reist offers several delicious recipes using local Missouri ingredients, from sweet corn, fresh tomatoes and strawberries to tender, local beef. Check out some of Reist’s favorite recipes below.