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No better time than now for healthy eating

May 1, 2017

One of the true joys of life in the Cape Region is our abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables.

This week, the farmers market season gets into full swing, with Rehoboth Beach opening May 2, while Historic Lewes Farmers Market opens May 6, joining Milton, which kicked off last month.

By the time Memorial Day arrives, fresh, local fruits and vegetables will abound. Local asparagus is up first, but Sussex County's sweet strawberries can't be far behind.

Farmers' market sales topped $2.9 million last year – 10 times the revenue produced just 10 years ago, Department of Agriculture statistics show.

Farmers markets not only offer the freshest of ingredients; they also provide opportunities for consumers to meet the people who produce their food and learn about production methods – not just for fruits and vegetables, but also for the fresh meats, cheeses, eggs and all the other products the markets offer.

Fresh, healthy produce is abundant in our area, and so too are opportunities to walk or run on serene, shady trails, not to mention the many races and outdoor events that take place every week year-round.

Sadly, 2015 statistics show that, despite some improvements, adult obesity rates in Delaware remain stubbornly high at 29.7 percent, and childhood obesity rates are again on the rise after modest gains.

Diets and new year's resolutions come and go. But for most of us, a simpler plan might work best. We can all start by trying to eat healthier just one day a week, snacking on fruit or carrots instead of candy and potato chips. Maybe even try one day a week without meat. Plus, get outside to walk for just 30 minutes a day.

We may not shed pounds in two weeks, but sticking to small changes in diet and exercise can spark changes that will lay the framework for better health.

In any case, if you've given any thought to eating better, now is the time to try, when the natural abundance of our region is so fresh and so available.

 

  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Nick Roth, sports editor.

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