Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Eat Local Week--So Many Choices

Due to our climate and the seasonal nature of fruits and vegetables, the average Utahn might be hard pressed to spend one full week much of the year eating mostly or 100 percent locally grown or produced food. But mid-September? If ever there is a time to try a local only diet for a few days, it is this week. September 8-15 is designated nationally as Eat Local Week. In Utah, as in much of the country this is peak harvest time, a perfect time to give it a try.

Where to Buy Local Foods?

You can start at the grocery store by looking for the Utah's Own Logo on everything from cheese to salsa to chips and sauces. Go to the Utah's Own website for a list of companies and brands. While you are at the grocery store, check the dairy case and meat counter for local products. You can find local milk, cheese, and meat in some stores. Some stores also try to carry as much local produce this time of year as possible. If it's local it should say.

But for a lot of people the real joy of shopping for local food comes from other venues. Roadside stands and on-farm stands and stores are great places to get local produce and other local foods. And then, of course, there are farmers markets. The Utah's Own website has a list of farmers markets and farm stores. Check it out and get to a market this week. Many of the market booths are even staffed by the main farmer or a contributing member of the farm family. Talk about knowing where your food comes from.

What to Buy?

Finally, we get to talk about the food choices. The following list is not comprehensive, but it is a start. I'm going to stick to the seasonal produce that is in season now, but know that most of the year you should be able to find local beef, pork and poultry, local cheese and other dairy, local honey and so many wonderful Utah's Own packaged/processed foods.

Okay, on to the seasonal produce list:

  • Apples
  • Arugula
  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Broccoli Raab
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Cilantro
  • Collard greens
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Green onions
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Melons
  • Mint
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions 
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Peppers
  • Pumpkins
  • radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Radishes
  • Rosemary
  • Shallots
  • Spinach
  • Squash (summer and winter)
  • Thyme
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelons

Though it may not be everything that can be eaten, there are a lot of choices this time of year. Go out and discover local food for yourself this week.