By: Chrysa Smith

Can't grow your own? Head to a local farm stand for fresh produce.

Can’t grow your own? Head to a local farm stand for fresh produce.

‘You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces–just good food from fresh ingredients.’

That’s a quote directly from the Royalty of the food universe—Julia Child herself.  And as I’ve gotten older and tasted more and better food, I quite agree.

If you grow a summer garden, you know what I mean. There’s nothing quite like the taste of a summer tomato, fresh basil. But fresh taste doesn’t need to come from an acre of land.  Tomato plants and herbs can be quite comfy in containers on a small patio or deck. Tomatoes come grown with compact vertical supports and upside down, hanging plastic bags that need no more than a hook. And herbs? A regular house plant pot will do just fine.

But if gardening still isn’t your thing, I’d still pass on the grocery store and head toward the farm. Even if not all of their offerings are home grown, they’re still likely to have come from other farms within less than 100 miles—which is the basis of the slow food movement—aka, farm to-table.

If you’ve been to one of these farm-to-table restaurants, you’ll know it. Not only does the food taste incredibly fresh, you’ll likely know exactly where it came from. And it likely came from just miles away(at least in summer).

In a pinch, some grocery stores carry seasonal veggies from not too far away. Wegman’s does have signs for many of their products, as does Whole Foods. And this doesn’t only apply to veggies, but to meats, eggs and other dairy products.

Dr. Oz has said that you needn’t buy everything organic, but for milk, eggs and apples. (Apples?)  But I’d say, organic when it makes sense; fresh, as much as possible. When you find out how long it takes some ‘fresh’ products to get from farm to store, so much of the nutritional value, not to mention taste, is greatly weakened.

So, if you haven’t already, raise the bar for your groceries. And see if it doesn’t make a difference both in the taste and your overall health.

‘This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun’ –Julia Child