Which would you rather eat: an apple just picked at a farm in Michigan or one harvested in another state, shipped to a processing plant and then delivered to the supermarket?
The two fruits may look and taste almost the same. But there’s a big difference, says Trevor Johnson, resident farmer at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital and market manager for Henry’s Market on Main. “Food that’s trucked in can take weeks to reach the shelf,” he explains. “Along the way, it loses some of the things that are really good for you, like antioxidants and vitamins.” The produce at the farmers market is grown locally and sold fresh for maximum nutritional value.
Newly picked produce each week
Another way to take advantage of delicious in-season fruits and vegetables is to join the Farm Share program. You buy a stake in local farmers’ harvests and receive a bag of fresh produce each week. Betty Chu, M.D., chief medical officer at Henry Ford West Bloomfield, is a member of the program herself.
“It’s all about sticking with the basics,” says Dr. Chu. “And there’s nothing more basic than eating farm-to-table — minimizing the processed foods we consume.” She urges parents to instill healthy eating habits in kids early to help avoid childhood obesity and related health issues. “It’s harder to change your routine later on as an adult.”
Fruit and vegetable instruction
If you’re not sure how to prepare those rutabagas, parsnips or any other food, the Greenhouse at Henry Ford West Bloomfield can help. It offers workshops, cooking classes (including special programs for kids), tours and more.
“We’re educating our community members and getting healthy food into their hands,” says Johnson. “This helps them eat better now so they’ll feel better later. They’re practicing preventive medicine in their own lives.”
Fill Up on Fresh Foods
Henry’s Market on Main is located in Henry Ford West Bloomfield and is open every Wednesday from May through November, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more about the Farm Share program, call 1-248-325-2060.