'Buy fresh, buy local' initiative featured at Chattanooga Market

'Buy fresh, buy local' initiative featured at Chattanooga Market

August 5th, 2011 by Holly Leber in Chattnow Outabout

IF YOU GO

What: Chattanooga Market

When: Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: First Tennessee Pavilion, 1829 Carter St.

Admission: Free

Website: www.chattanoogamarket.org.


ON THE EPB STAGE

* 12:30 p.m. Bucktown Kickback

* 2 p.m. Summertown

Buy fresh. Buy local.

Gaining Ground, an initiative of the Benwood Foundation, is seeking to increase the number of Chattanoogans who do just that - buy fresh, local foods.

"We are working with area farmers, grocers, restaurants and markets on how to make local foods more visibly available," said Gaining Ground director Jeff Pfitzer.

According to Pfitzer, local food is being defined as that which is grown within 100 miles of Chattanooga.

In celebration of National Farmers Market Week, Gaining Ground will play host this weekend at Chattanooga Market.

"We are working on a consumer awareness campaign to help increase awareness about both the importance of eating and supporting local farms and helping consumers find local foods," he continued.

Supporting local farmers and food growers can have a positive impact on the community, both from a health and economic standpoint.

"Local food is fresher than any other food you can buy. When a farmer picks a fruit or a vegetable, it begins losing nutrient content," Pfitzer said. Fiscally, he said, buying local food tends to recycle money into the community.

Money spent to support local farms is usually then spent to buy from local stores and hire local labor.

As part of Gaining Ground's efforts, they have been distributing banners and stickers reading "Harvested Here" for markets and restaurants to indicate if they are carrying local foods.

At Chattanooga Market, every person who brings in a donation to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank will be eligible for a drawing to win a basket of local produce.