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Local winter food

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Eating healthy is a lifestyle choice. In Wisconsin, people often think that local healthy food disappears in the winter. Often nutritionists emphasize fruits and vegetables that are more appropriate in the summer but are imported during the winter. Pioneers to the midwest ate very healthy during the winter. They ate differently and in many ways ate what their body’s needed to thrive in the cold of winter.

In winter the body needs more fat, and heavy calories to stay warm. Appropriate fruits and vegetables are those that nature provides and store well for the winter. That would include root vegetables like carrots, onions and turnips, also tubers like potato and sweet potato. Fruits that store well for the winter include apples and pears as well as squash and cranberries. Fresh and preserved meats were traditionally a main source of winter calories.

During the winter most farmers markets and and roadside farm stands shut down. For many people this takes the local food shopping experience out of their healthy lifestyle. While it is more difficult to by local in the winter, it is not impossible. Many local farmers sell food at the farm year round. Listings of farmers in southeast Wisconsin can be found in the Farm fresh atlas. For those who miss their summer farmer's market, Oconomowoc WI has a winter farmer's market. The market is indoors and held every other Sunday through the winter. Directions, schedule and participating vendors can be found at the Oconomowoc Chamber of Commerce website.

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