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Published on June 30th, 2014 | by Publisher, Natural Awakenings New Mexico

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July 2014 Publisher’s Letter

Our July issue is dedicated with gratitude to our local farmers.

This month’s feature article by Melinda Hemmelgarn profiles organic farmers. These “Stewards of Earth’s Bounty” are among the silent heroes making a difference in America’s food supply and helping us all become aware of the healthier food choices available.

How the vegetables and fruits we eat are grown affects our health. As a child growing up in Europe, I never had to worry about toxic chemicals sprayed on crops or the hazards of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

To stay healthy, we need to simply make smarter choices in what we eat based on knowing where it comes from and reading labels. Keep it simple by sticking with naturally grown and raised local and organic foods from farmers you know and trust. Filling our plates mostly with fresh vegetables will also keep us healthy.

One of the most serious threats to big agriculture may well be the individual, or family, that decides to grow his or her own organic food. Every dollar spent is a dollar that refuses to support the irresponsible practices by chemical manufacturers like Monsanto.

Local farmers’ markets are a superb place to start feeding our family right. While perusing FarmersMarketsNM.org, I noticed that New Mexico has more than 80 different farmers’ markets, with many new additions. Below are several great reasons to shop at farmers’ markets:

Fresh Food: Most produce sold at farmers’ markets has been picked within 24 hours and comes from less than 100 miles away.

Know Your Farmer
: Farmers’ markets give shoppers the opportunity to meet the people that produce their food and ask questions about growing techniques, recipes and storage tips.

Sustainability: Supporting local farmers maintains traditional agricultural lands and knowledge for future generations.

Food Security: Strong local food systems ensure a more secure food source for all New Mexicans.

Community: Farmers’ markets provide a festive atmosphere to meet with friends, family and neighbors of all ages and backgrounds. Think local. Work local. Buy local. Stay healthy. Enjoy your summer, and Happy July Fourth!

Andrea Williams, Publisher

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