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Resource-savvy communities generate healthy, sustainable changes
Date:9/1/2010

Kids program teach creative ways to cook fresh vegetables, and the Kids in the Kitchen curriculum in Ralls County encourages youth to eat healthily by teaching them to prepare simple, healthy foods.

Several counties have established farmers markets to increase access to locally grown foods. In Lafayette and Dent, young entrepreneurs received training in commercial gardening through the local farmers market.

"I am a big supporter of buying local and now that our community has weekly farmers markets, I'm able to support local farmers and prepare healthier meals for my family and friends," said Christy Fuenfhausen, a young professional and resident of Lexington. "The farmers market provides a wonderful opportunity to purchase a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. It has been a huge success already, providing a local networking system, different options for produce, new recipes and local programs."

Other counties have begun planting community gardens. In Dent and Boone County, schools are utilizing "grow labs" and "learning gardens" to teach kids about science, health and nutrition. Many students are experiencing farm-fresh produce for the first time.

"My fianc and I have four plots in the community garden," said Becki Godi, MU Extension associate in Dent County. "It has been a great experience for my stepson to watch the growing process from seed to harvest. We often ride our bikes to the garden to water and collect our veggies. It is very satisfying to grow and eat our own food. It is a great opportunity to introduce people of all ages to the benefits of natural food."

"Sustainable transformation is a product of changing policies and environments," Cohen said. "Making healthy choices isn't always easy, but having access to fresh foods and safe places for physical activity makes it easier."


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Contact: Emily Martin
MartinEm@missouri.edu
573-882-3346
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

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