Top 6 Reasons to Buy Local Food

Stacey Dohman, Katie Kennedy, and Mark Brady are people I trust when it Stacey.headshot1comes to eating fresh and healthy. Stacey is a dietitian and District Manager at Sodexo and National Dining Director of Covenant Retirement Communities. Stacey has a great deal of experience in healthcare, university settings, and long-term care facilities.   She has a passion for real food and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. She knows that a healthy balance means: good nutrition, regular physical activity, getting enough sleep at night, managing stress, and meaningful time with family and friends.  Stacey has a BS degree in Family and Consumer Science from Western Illinois University as well as a Master’s Degree in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. Stacey is married with two young children and loves finding recipes that are nutritious that the whole family will love.

I also spoke with Katie Kennedy and Mark Brady who developed Timberfeast. Timberfeast is a small pasture-based livestock farm committed to raising the healthiest, most delicious meat to nourish individuals and their families.  Mark and Katie describe themselves as farmers with a deep interest in health, holistic healing, and nutrition.  They met through the shared passion of raising their Timberfeastanimals on pasture, in a natural and healthy way.  Their farming practices benefit the earth and produce highly delicious products.  They operate a farm in Chatworth, Illinois, 80 miles south of Chicago where they raise chickens and turkeys who roam and eat in the grass pastures.  Not surprisingly, when the animals eat grains, those grains are grown locally by a small farmer within a few miles of them in a natural, organic environment.  Mark and Katie’s explain that their philosophy is truly time-honored; that delicious and nutritious food comes from animals that eat and live well.  They are in the second season of their farm and have fresh Thanksgiving turkeys and fresh pastured chicken and eggs, among other items.  Timberfeast offers weekly pick-ups and home deliveries around Chicagoland throughout the year and is currently taking orders for Thanksgiving. Their website is:

So here we go… Top 6 Reasons to buy local:

  1. Tastes Better In-season produce has much more flavor than fruits and vegetables shipped from across the country — or the world.
  2. More Nutritious In-season fruits and veggies are harvested just as they’ve developed abundant nutrients. In contrast, fruits and veggies transported from far away are picked before they’re ripe and nutritionally mature. This allows the produce to survive days or weeks in a truck, but it reduces the amount of nutrients available.
  3. Helps Your Community Purchasing produce and meats locally builds your local economy instead of handing over the earnings to a corporation in another city, state, or country.
  4. Better for Environment Some foods are shipped literally thousands of miles; that is a big carbon footprint that could be avoided by purchasing local and seasonal foods.
  5. More Variety Eating with the seasons also brings variety to your diet — and that helps you get the full complement of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that nature offers. Rather than start every morning with, say, half a grapefruit (a winter fruit), you might switch to pears or cherries in fall and blueberries or raspberries in summer.
  6. More affordable While grocery stores will carry an assortment of fruits and vegetables throughout the year, buying produce that is in season can be much cheaper than produce that has traveled a significant distance.


Whether you are eating an apple and kale salad for lunch or choose to make an evening meal of turkey and sweet potatoes, if you shop for your food locally, it will taste better and have more nutritional value.   Many areas of healthcare, including dietary restrictions, can be overwhelming.  If you or a loved one is dealing with a complex health issue and need help addressing your diet, or if you simply have a question for one of our nurses or dieticians, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.  No matter where you are on your healthcare journey, we are here for you.

Healthcare with you.  Healthcare for you.      

Wendy Benson, MBA, OTR/L

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