Today was farmers’ market day on Vashon, as it is across the country. Danny and I had our one-hour date, picking up red jalapeños, 10 pounds of tomatoes, fresh shallots, kale, collards, golden beets for roasting, and potatoes dug out of the ground this morning. There were also hazelnuts just off the tree, an olive cashew creme spread, a goat cheese feta, and a pound of Coho salmon. We’re lucky. There is still plenty to buy at the farmers’ market on Vashon in October.
(The photo above is from a couple of years ago, still one of my favorite photos of one of our farmers’ market hauls.)
Danny and I both grow jazzed about produce at the farmers’ market. Even after all these years of shopping together, we feel like the most important and enjoyable choice we make during the week is what produce we’ll bring home. This is the basis of our meals, these vegetables and fruit. Our plates at the dinner table are almost always half filled with vegetables. Everything else is a flavor enhancer, a texture, a condiment. It is s produce that makes up our days.
That’s why I’m happy to announce that Pink Ribbon Produce is our latest sponsor.
“Using in-store, interactive and online components in conjunction with a public relations campaign, Pink Ribbon Produce drives consumer awareness through the produce departments at Harris Teeter…retailers. Shoppers can pick up information on healthy living and early breast cancer detection while shopping and support the Pink Ribbon Produce promotion by purchasing participating supplier products.
Donations are raised through the participating produce suppliers who donate a flat dollar amount and through our online donation campaign during the promotion dates. All donations support the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. and the money raised is kept in the local communities.”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a good time to remind yourself (or your loved one) to get a mammogram, or an MRI, or a self-exam. And it’s a great time to start eating more vegetables.
I’ve written about this here before, years ago, but I’m at a pretty high risk of developing breast cancer. I have a strong family history of it. I’ve had some big scares, times we thought I might have cancer: biopsies, surgeries, and atypical cells that tended toward cancer. Many of my health choices are based on this knowledge. And I have some decisions to make about it, as so many women do.
This is why I have a breast surgeon and an oncologist. Every time I see them, I ask them about the latest studies on foods we should or shouldn’t be eating to prevent cancer. And every time they tell me there is so little solid evidence that most of it is a guess. People on the internet may be convinced that one food or another causes cancer but longitudinal studies don’t back up soy or red meat or gluten as problematic for breast cancer. However, there is one food group that clearly helps to prevent breast cancer: produce.
Seriously, people. No one disputes this. Vegetables are good for you. So are fruits. Eat more more produce to be healthier.
Now, you might eat a lot of produce and still end up with breast cancer. However, common sense says that a day full of dark leafy greens, red peppers, orange carrots, avocados, purple cabbage, and blueberries is a heck of a lot better for us than one full of packaged foods made up of cheap flour and bleached white sugar. We know this. You know this. It’s true.
So we’re happy to promote Pink Ribbon Produce, as they try to spread awareness of breast cancer on social media and in stores. It’s not often that food companies spend promotional money on produce. If you shop at a Harris Teeter store, stop in the produce section for more information, nutrition guides, and recipes to try. (Hey, they also have a guide to gluten-free products in their stores.) And of course, load up your cart with great produce for every meal this week.
And if you’re in a rush when you cook, as so many of us are, try some of the products that partner with Harris Teeter for the Pink Produce campaign. These fresh-cut salads, dressings, juices, and good ingredients can make it easier for you to eat good produce at every meal:
If you’d like some of our favorite vegetables dishes, check out the vegetable section of our recipe index.
Share this story, if you will. Tell folks to buy their produce at Harris Teeter, if they live near one. And if not, then eat your vegetables! You never know the good it can do you.