Get healthy by going green: Eat better and smarter with local produce

Going green is all about cutting back on the use of limited resources so you can be mindful of the planet, yourself and those around you. One of the best ways to do that is to multitask. That said, the ultimate way to go green is to combine improving your health and reducing your impact on the environment.

It's often the case that the not-so-eco-friendly option is one that appears to require less effort by the consumer, but at what cost? There are countless ways to lead a healthy lifestyle with environmentally friendly products. Once you introduce them more frequently into your daily life, you'll wonder why you hadn't done so yet.

One easy way to do this is by buying food from a local farm or farmers market. Agricultural industrialization has it's benefits, sure. But ultimately, the monolithic amount of carbon emissions produced through the shipment of the produce and the abundant use of pesticides on the crops has a considerably adverse effect on the environment, and quite possibly, your health.

Local produce doesn't need to be shipped across the planet on planes, trains and 18-wheelers. And with a significantly shorter distance to travel, the goods you buy locally don't require questionable amounts of preservatives that damage your health and take away from the taste of the product.

Marvin Batte, a professor at Ohio State University who researched the level of interest in local produce, explained to LiveScience.com that while many people buy locally to reduce their impact on the environment, that wasn't the number one incentive.

"It's better quality food, it tastes better, it's fresher," Batte said.

To find the closest farmers market to you, visit http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/.

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