August 21, 2007
Media Release

Local produce at its peak in August and September

 
NEWMARKET - Public health nutritionists from York Region Health Services remind residents that August and September are the best months of the year to take advantage of the goodness and freshness of locally grown produce.  Residents are encouraged to visit a local farmer’s market or local farm to pick and purchase fresh produce.
 
Buying locally grown produce provides many benefits.  In addition to supporting our farmers, the produce is fresher and has a higher nutritional value compared to imported produce.
 
The revised 2007 Food Guide from Health Canada acknowledges the importance of eating vegetables and fruit by increasing the number of recommended servings. 
 
It is recommended that children aged four to eight years old eat five servings of vegetables and fruit per day and those aged nine to 13 eat six servings per day.  Female teens and adults (14-50-year-old) should eat at least seven servings of vegetables and fruit per day and male teens and adults (14-50-year-old) should eat at least eight servings each day. 
 
However, results from a recent survey indicate that Canadians are far from meeting these important recommendations.  The 2004 Canadian Community Health survey found that 50 per cent of Canadian adults and 70 per cent of Canadian children (aged four to eight), do not eat even five servings of vegetables and fruit per day.
 
Adding vegetables and fruit to your diet can be easy:
• Plan your meals ahead of time and stock up on vegetables and fruit for the week
• Pack portable veggies and fruit in your lunch bag every day
• Make a point of having vegetables or fruit with every meal and snack
• Double up on your servings of vegetables and fruit
• Visit a local farm to buy large quantities of produce.  Preserve some by freezing or canning for later use
 
Vegetables and fruit contain health protective vitamins, minerals, fibre and other beneficial plant compounds that may help reduce the risk for diseases such as cancer, heart disease and stroke.  Research also indicates that people who eat more vegetables and fruit tend to have fewer problems with their body weight and with health problems associated with being overweight or obese.  Picking your own vegetables and fruit is also an excellent form of physical activity.
The York Region Farm Fresh Guide identifies many local farms and farmers’ markets.  To obtain a copy of the guide or for more information on this or any other health-related topic, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.
 
 
Media Advisory
 
NEWMARKET - Join York Region Health Services at Forsythe Family Farms and learn the benefits of buying local and fresh produce.  Speak to farm owners, Jim and Leslie Forsythe about growing and harvesting the produce.  Purchase farm fresh products from their well stocked market.  The farm currently features in-season treats such as peas, sweet corn, raspberries, blueberries, potatoes and more.
 
When:  Thursday, August 23, 2007
  Media interviews are available between 11 a.m. – 12 noon
 
Where:   Forsythe Family Farms
  10539 Kennedy Road, Town of Markham
 
Jim Forsythe has been growing fruit and vegetables for the Greater Toronto Area since 1972.  Today, together with his wife Leslie and their two sons, James and Daniel, Forsythe Family Farms continues to focus on reconnecting people to their rural roots.
 
In addition to the farm market, Forsythe Family Farms also invites residents to pick their own berries, learn about the local onsite farm animals and participate in family fun activities, including a corn maze.
 
The York Region Farm Fresh Guide identifies many local farms and farmers’ markets.  To obtain a copy of the guide or for more information on this or any other health-related topic, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.
 
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, York Region Health Services
 Phone:  905 830-4444 or After-hours Cell 905 716-2717
 Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca
 

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