'Eat Local' Food App Shows What's in Season Near You

gmtbillings/CC BY 2.0

Eating locally generally means going to the farmers market and buying what’s available at the time. It’s a lovely way to shop, but it does leave you at the mercy of the market. It’s shopping based on spontaneity and can make it difficult to plan much in advance. And although that is part and parcel for locavores, a new app has been developed that may help to change that.

To assist you in finding out what's in season where you are, locate nearby farmers markets anywhere in the United States, and find seasonal recipes, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) created the app, Eat Local.

Having found that "choosing produce that is grown locally, and picked at the peak of freshness, matters a lot in terms of better taste and nutritional value,” Paul McRandle and Wendy Gordon of NRDC worked together with developer, Scott Santulli, to create the new tool.

Eat Local/Screen capture

The app lists more than 5,200 farmers markets and features 64 produce items, including seafood, heirloom turkeys and more. There are more than 100 links to recipes, which are housed on the Smarter Living section of NRDC.org. The app also provides nutritional details and tips on storage, preparation and cooking.

According to Mark Izeman, the director of NRDC's Urban Program, New York, "Studies have shown that produce loses nutrients each day after it has been harvested and after three days it has lost 40 percent of its nutritional value."

Adds Gordon, "I've got yet another reason for buying my produce at the farmers market. Meals prepared at home using fresh seasonal and local ingredients are not just better for your health, but better for your wallet."

The app is free and available at iTunes.

Tags: Apps | Farmers Markets | Food Miles | Local Food | Shopping

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