Taking advantage of summer fruits and vegetables 

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Consuming local produce during the summer months can benefit your health as well as local farmers economically. 

Congratulations! It is finally the end of the spring semester, and it is time to enjoy the summer. Whether summer plans include lots of travel or even plans to work hard at a summer job, there are great nutritional opportunities to take advantage of. Depending on where home is located, lots of local produce is available during this season. 

Especially in Utah, there are a lot of great produce options in the summer months that can be extremely beneficial to personal health. According to the Utah State University Student Health and Wellness Center, Utah summertime produce can include blueberries, apricots, cherries, melons, peaches, plums, eggplant, green beans, corn, peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini.  

Why consume local produce? 

It is extremely important to prioritize eating local produce when circumstances allow. According to Medical West, produce that is grown locally is known to be fresher as well as more nutrient dense. One main purpose of eating produce is the nutritious benefit. If there is a way to get more out of the produce being consumed, that’s a great way to get important nutrients into the body. Another great benefit of consuming local produce is that it supports local farmers as well as the local economy. Creating demand for local farmers also helps to preserve farmland in the area. 

According to Marquette University there are several benefits to consuming local and seasonal produce. A few of these benefits are that the food will not only taste fresher but will contain more antioxidants and vitamins making it fresher and taste ultimately better. Summer produce will be at a lower cost since there is an increased supply of fresh produce. Lastly, by eating seasonal produce there will be a reduced carbon footprint.  

Best places to find local produce 

There are countless resources for attaining local produce throughout Utah County. Weekly, farmers markets are held in local towns. This is a great opportunity to get quality, locally sourced produce that can ultimately benefit personal health. Another great resource located right on Utah Valley University’s campus is Fresh Food Fridays. The University understands that purchasing fresh food can become pricey, and a student’s strict budget shouldn’t prevent them from being able to get fresh produce. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of local fruits and vegetables in season.