Eat Healthy

Local Resources

peasWe live in farm country – do you know how easy it is to get fresh, local food? 

  • Lynchburg Downtown Community Market – Every Wednesday and Saturday morning,  13th and Main in Downtown Lynchburg. 
  • Forest Library Parking lot – Saturday 8am-1pm May –October 15583 Forest Road
  • Bedford – corner of Washington and Center Streets; June-October Tuesday and Friday
  • Altavista – Trade Lot; Wed & sat; April – October
  • Buena Vista – Magnolia Parking Lot; July-Sept Wed 3p-7pm
  • Campbell County – Brookville High School; May – Oct Saturdays 8am-12pm

Click to read more about markets, Community Supported Agriculture, and our Lynchburg Area Food Council.

Chances are, at the local grocery store. you buy bananas from Guatemala and Avocados from Mexico. If you’re buying a tomato in the winter months, beware. These are picked while still green, taken back to a warehouse, and exposed to ethylene gas. The gas turns them red, but not ripe.  That’s why they lack the mouthwatering flavor of a summer farmer’s market tomato!  Before distribution at a grocery store, fruits and vegetables are often stored for weeks at a warehouse! That’s why they’re not as fresh as you’d like, or they rot just a few days after you buy them.

In a report by the Kellogg foundation in 2005, the public gave supermarkets the highest rating of 21 industries reviewed (over banks, airlines, and oil companies!)  92% people say that supermarkets “generally do a good job of serving their consumers” and 42 percent believe that supermarkets are generally honest and trustworthy.  According to the CDC, most adults averaged at least 2 trips per week to the supermarket in 2010.  However, a study this year showed that supermarket circulars advertise for foods in a way that is out of sync with health recommendations.  More than 1/2 of the front page showed protein foods and grains (while MyPlate recommends limiting these foods to less than half of the plate); fruits, vegetables, and dairy, combined, were given only about 1/4 of the front page (while MyPlate recommends fruits and vegetables alone account for 1/2 of the plate).  Our region of the US, the South, has the highest obesity rate, and our grocery store circulars have the largest amount of advertising space for sweets, especially sugar-sweetened beverages. Yuck!

pollanHave you ever thought about buying local?  There are many benefits – to your taste buds, the environment (no 18 wheelers needed for transport), your local economy, and even your health.  Local produce is more nutrient-rich than imported produce that has traveled for an extended time period. Also, you can choose to buy from farmers who do not use antibiotics, hormones or other toxic chemicals. (Only about one in four people knows of the debate concerning antibiotic overuse. Once informed, are you willing to spend more to avoid food produced with antibiotics, pesticides, and hormones?)  Eating local food can also improve your health by increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you consume!

If each household in Virginia would spend $10 a week on locally grown agricultural products, it could bring $1.65 billion into the Virginia Economy each year.  Take the $10 pledge.  Submit a Virginia Grown punch card before October 4th to win a $250 gift basket from Virginia Food System Council.  Make your commitment today, to spend just $10 a week on locally grown food, raised by Virginia farmers.   

snapCheck out the Downtown Community Market – Every Wednesday and Saturday morning,  13th and Main in Downtown Lynchburg.  ***Since July 2013, many vendors in the market accept SNAP benefits!  There are Double Dollars available for SNAP recipients who shop at participating vendors in the Downtown Community market!

Forest, Bedford, Altavista and Buena Vista all have Farmer’s Markets as well.

  • Forest Library Parking lot – Saturday 8am-1pm May –October 15583 Forest Road
  • Bedford – corner of Washington and Center Streets; June-October Tuesday and Friday
  • Altavista – Trade Lot; Wed & sat; April – October
  • Buena Vista – Magnolia Parking Lot; July-Sept Wed 3p-7pm
  • Campbell County – Brookville High School; May – Oct Saturdays 8am-12pm 

Visit a Virginia farm and pick your own fresh produce right off the tree (or bush). Many farms also have pre-picked foods for you to select as well. Some of the foods available at “U-Picks” include peaches, apples, strawberries, asparagus, and pumpkins. To find a farm to visit, look through “Virginia Grown: Guide to Pick-Your-Own and Select-Your-Own Farm Product” online.

Here are several options for PICK YOUR OWN produce:

 AJ Gross & Sons 6817 Wheats Valley Road, Bedford VA 24523; 540-586-2436

Appleseed Country-Johnson’s Orchards and Peaks of Otter Wine

2122 Sheep Creek Road, Bedford VA 24523; 540-586-3707

Kennedy’s Orchards 1272 Kennedy Ridge Road, Bedford VA 24523; 540-297-4931

Scott’s Strawberry Fram 5234 Joppa Mill Road, Moneta VA 24523; 540-297-7917

TLC Blueberry Orchard, 1152 Capital Hill Road, Moneta VA 24121; 540-297-1168

 

Epicurious.com reminds us of what we can expect to get fresh on this updated Seasonal Ingredient Map.

More questions about eating locally?  Check out the VA Cooperative Extension website or call 434-455-3740


 

CSA projects allow you to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. You purchase a “share” or membership which provides you with a weekly box of seasonal vegetables and other farm products through the farming season.

  • Frog Bottom Farm CSA is a small community supported vegetable farm located in Appomattox County that uses low impact, sustainable farming methods.
 434-248-5525
  • Horse & Buggy Produce is a local Natural Foods Cooperative that draws from over 100 small family farms, personal vegetable gardens and fruit orchards in Central Virginia.  On a weekly basis, H&B delivers fresh, local food to either a central pickup site or a variety of home and office locations.

  • Lynchburg Grows is an urban farm on almost 7 acres in Lynchburg with a mission to teach sustainable food production and to embrace people with special needs. The farm has a Community Supported Agriculture program which allows patrons to get weekly bags of local produce for a nominal fee.
  • Lynchburg Real Foods is a natural foods buying club that provides basic whole foods and household items for residents of the inner Lynchburg area.  434-528-1100

 

Lynchburg Area Food Council is focused on addressing food access, insecurity, quality, and systems in our region. It is the desire of the LAFC to serve as a forum and clearinghouse to promote education on food system issues, coordination among those interested in healthy foods, advocacy for healthy food options and policies, and launching and supporting community-wide programs for healthy foods.  To get involved with this non-profit organization, check out their Facebook page or email leslie.hoglund@vdh.virginia.gov for more information. 

 

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