Newsletter for Friday August 18, 2017

We are now in our Summer Market season with market being held every Friday indoors 3:30 - 6:30 at Cheviot School.  

Cheviot Elementary School, 4040 Harrison Ave. 45211: 
Parking and entrance are accessed behind the school.  Take Harrison Ave. to Carrie St. to McFarran St.  You will see the Lettuce Eat Well Farmers' Market sign by the entrance door.  Once inside, enter through the double doors to your left and enter the gymnasium on your left.

"Waking Up to What is Really in Your Food"

The following article first appeared in "The Green Grapevine" five years ago.  It seems as appropo today as when it was first written.

Waking Up to What is Really in Your Food
It is said that Rip Van Winkle slept for 20 years. It seems that many of us have been in an extended Rip Van Winkle state regarding the food we eat, asleep at the wheel, not even noticing what is taking place in the production of food. For the past half century or so, much of “farming” has followed the former Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz’s dictate to “Get big or get out.” Food production has gone from big to bigger to gigantic, often resulting in more harm to the environment, and less nutritious food.

Fortunately, it appears the tide is turning a bit. Over the past few years or so, some of us have begun to wake from our Rip Van Winkle state. There is now an entire genre of literature informing us about the expanding topic of the politics of food. Because of the plethora of books, blogs, and articles on the topic of food production, we can now educate ourselves about the origins of the food we consume.

But why bother?  
With all the other demands on our time, why add yet another project to our lives? Because, you are what you eat ate. Yes, whether you are eating beans or beef, you are what the beans or beef ate. Do you know what your beans or beef ate?

The surest way I have found to know what my food ate is to talk directly with the farmers at farmers’ markets.   However, because not all farmers at all farmers’ markets follow the same growing practices, there are some important questions to ask in order to determine if the food you are considering purchasing is grown using healthy methods. For produce: you can ask if the producer grew the food using no synthetic chemicals throughout the entire growing process. This would include synthetic chemical fertilizers, insecticides, or herbicides. For beef: you can ask if the steer was 100% grass fed, receiving no hormones or antibiotics. For pork, chicken, and eggs: you can ask if the animals were pastured and were fed Non GMO feed.

How produce, meats, and eggs were produced should not be our only focus.  When purchasing breads, jams, baked goods, and other value added foods, you could ask the vendors which ingredients in their products were grown locally, without the use of synthetic chemicals, and contain no GMO grains. Also, you can have a conversation with the vendors regarding whether or not they would be interested in possibly sourcing even more of their ingredients locally, following the above guidelines.

Change Over Time
We cannot expect to make massive or complete changes in our food system overnight.  It will take time for our small family farmers and the other farmers’ market vendors to make the changes they and we want. Some of these changes are complex; for example, reversing the practice of using GMO seeds to using non GMO seeds for livestock grains and flour grains.  For more information on this topic, you may wish to view the documentary film, “The Future of Food.” Another part of the change process will involve reversing the practice of heavily subsidizing corporate agribusiness, a change that will likely take a united effort involving both our personal food choices and changes at the governmental level.

 While we might not yet be able to purchase all our food items following the above “gold standard,” we can at least begin the journey toward healthier, more sustainably grown food.  As Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu shared, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”  Each step, no matter how small or big, that we take toward a healthier, more sustainable food system counts immediately and immeasurably. Let the journey begin, and Lettuce Eat Well.

There is a plethora of resources on the topic of eating locally.  Following are but a few to get you started.

Suggested Resources:
CORV Local Food Guide
Treasure Hunt with the Munch Crunch Bunch: A Healthy Fun Food Adventure, by Jan Wolterman
The Locavore’s Handbook: The Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budget, by Leda Meredith
The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook, by Shannon Hayes
Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon
Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating, by Jane Goodall
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver

Article written by:   Mary A. Hutten, Manager of Lettuce Eat Well Farmers’ Market, on Cincinnati’s Westside

A slightly different version of the article was previously written by this author for "The Green Grapevine." 


Some of you are long-time readers of the newsletter; others are new to the market and are reading the newsletter for the first time.  This section is included each week to bring your attention to important happenings around the market and around town.

Some of our vendors attend market every week, some every other week, some once a month.  For dates and details 


Farm Auction 
The announcement below came from one of our customers.  Given the rapid loss of farmland and the importance of retaining enough land to grow the food necessary to allow us to Eat Well, I certainly hope this land remains as farmland.  Please help us spread the word by forwarding this newsletter to your contacts.

I just wanted to let you know that the remainder of our family farm is to be sold at auction on Saturday, September 9. The address is 11211 State Road 1, Brookville, Indiana 47012

It is divided into 7 tracts including 2 houses, barns and outbuildings, farm machinery, other equipment, farm antiques, and the remainder of the household items.  If you know of anyone interested, please forward them this information.

Thanks so much. 

Peace and all good,

Marilyn Wilson

Each week in this newsletter I highlight one or more of our Very Valued Vendors.  This week I am highlighting one of our Very Value Customers, Clark.  I recently received an email from Clark asking that I include information in the newsletter regarding his very special request.  Following is Clark's email:  

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE A LIVING KIDNEY DONOR?  My name is Clark and I’m receiving hemodialysis due
to experiencing renal failure over a year ago.  The treatments are keeping me alive but my greatest hope is to receive a kidney from a living donor.  I’m presently on the deceased donor wait list but it could take as long as three to five years to receive a transplant.  My quality of life would be enhanced if I could receive a living donor and no longer have to receive dialysis.  If you are interested, please contact the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Transplant Department at 513-584-7001.  I deeply thank you for your interest, Clark.

If you would like to contact Clark directly, simply send me an email by replying to this newsletter and I will forward your email to him.

I sincerely hope you will forward this newsletter to all on your contact list so we can help spread the word far and wide regarding Clark's very special request.  


Pre-ordering Pays Off

Have you ever arrived at market to purchase your favorite item/s from your favorite vendor/s only to be disappointed because the vendor/s sold out of the item/s?  Did you know that no longer has to happen?  At LEWFM you can pre-order your items and pick them up any time during regular market hours.  Pre-ordering not only pays off for you, it also helps the vendors know how much to prepare/harvest, which greatly reduces waste.  Pre-ordering is a real win-win for all, and it only takes a few minutes of your time to plan ahead and place your order.  Given the importance of Eating Well, getting into the habit of placing your pre-orders each week will likely become a high priority on your weekly To Do List. 

There are two easy ways you can place your pre-orders: in person at market or via email.  Here's how the email ordering works:  Email me at LEWFMLOCAL@GMAIL.COM and ask to be added to the vendor email pre-order list.  Each market week you will receive emails from the vendors detailing the items they have available for you to order that week.  Reply to their email, letting them know the items you wish to order, then come to market on Friday to pick up your items. 


  For a full listing of our vendors, their products, and services including:    
  • Kids & Krafts, where the kids can have loads of fun so you can leisurely shop the market
  • Many food and non-food items
  • and a list of vendors who accept credit cards
Check out our Vendors.


BYOB: Bring Your Own Bags to Market
As a way to help reduce the use of plastic bags, we are asking customers to bring their own reusable bags to market.  I realize that many of you are already doing this and we very much appreciate you doing so.  For those who are not yet in the habit of grabbing a few reusable bags as you leave for market, it might take a bit of extra effort to develop this new habit.  Doing so will result in short and long term benefits.  To gain some insight into the importance of reducing the use of plastic bags, take a look at this brief video

If you don't have any reusable market bags we've got you covered.  Beginning this week I will have free reusable bags courtesy of Green Umbrella 10% Local Food Shift.  To receive your free bag, check out this link for directions for signing up for the 10% Shift.  Then, when you come to market just let me know that you've signed up for the 10% Shift campaign and I'll have a bag for you: one per customer, while supplies last.


Produce Perks
For those who noticed the logo at the bottom of the newsletter recently and wondered what it means, here is the good news about a new program.  Produce Perks is an incentive program that is meant to encourage and help those who receive EBT (formerly known as food stamps) purchase more produce.  Produce Perks is a dollar for dollar match (up to $10), with the matching dollars used on produce.  The Produce Perks website offers the following additional information:
“Produce Perks” is an initiative modeled after a similar program in Cuyahoga County.  Focus is on access and affordability of healthy fruits and vegetables for under-served consumers. 
Produce Perks are incentive tokens given to customers at participating farmers’ markets who use an Ohio Direction Card (“electronic benefits transfer” or EBT card) to purchase food.  A customer wishing to use their food assistance benefits can swipe their card at one central terminal, located at participating market’s information booths, and ask to withdraw a desired amount. The market provides tokens for the transaction and additional Produce Perks that can be spent on fruits and vegetables.  As the name suggests, Produce Perks are only good for purchasing fruits and vegetables.  All other tokens purchased with the Ohio Direction Card are good to use on eligible items at the market.           
Please help us spread the word about this very worthwhile program.  One way to help get the word out is to stop by the market management booth to pick up brochures to share with those you know who receive EBT benefits.  You could also leave brochures at your church, doctor or dentist's office, or any locations that would permit you to do so. 


Please share this newsletter with friends and family to help spread the word about LEWFM!

We hope to see you real soon at Lettuce Eat Well Farmers' Market!

Newsletter compiled by Mary A. Hutten, Market Manager

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