4 Reasons the Veggie Lifestyle Is for Everyone (Really!)

July 3, 2018

farmer-couple-with-basket-of-vegetables

We all know we’re “supposed” to eat our veggies. There are a lot of things we’re supposed to do—you have to start somewhere! Why not start somewhere delicious? Seeking out high-quality, locally grown produce is fun, rewarding for your palate and a plus for your health.

Did we mention there’s more? Here are the top four reasons why the veggie lifestyle is for everybody.

1. Good for You

  • Eating more veggies has been clinically proven to reduce your risk for cancer, heart disease and digestive disorders.
  • Vegetables provide crucial nutrients, vitamin complexes and antioxidants. A mix of raw and cooked vegetables is best. Each type of vegetable provides a nutritional profile and vitamin complexes that are unique to that one plant. Did you know that red bell pepper has more vitamin C than an orange? And that dark, leafy greens pack a mineral punch?
  • The nutrients in vegetables are key for supporting the health of organs and cells in the human body. Research has shown that whole-food vegetables provide nutrition that is specifically bioavailable for the vital systems of the human body. It’s a quicker—and, tastier—way to get those nutrients versus supplements.
  • Veggies are rich in dietary fiber and often low in calories. They also hold water that has been uniquely filtered by the plant cells themselves. Some consider that water part of your daily requirement!
  • Trying a vegetarian meal every now and then helps give the body a break from digesting animal proteins, and also switches up protein sources while keeping a natural dietary rotation.

2. Good for the Planet

  • Biodiversity reduces disease and pest pressure for the food supply and environment.
  • Sustainably planted farms can have a number of important environmental impacts:
    • Reducing soil erosion
    • Reducing the impact of agricultural runoff to the local watershed
    • Creating habitat for beneficial insects, pollinators and other wildlife
  • Vegetable farming can offer a unique advantage of efficiency over livestock farming. Studies have demonstrated that more food can be produced per acre when planted as vegetable crops versus what would be used for livestock farming.
  • Plants act as a carbon sink and also benefit the atmosphere by releasing oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis. Bottom line: Clean air for people to breathe and a mitigated carbon footprint.

holding-a-basket-of-local-produce

3. Authentic Farm to Table

Everyone’s heard of farm to table, and by now seasonal eating has become a popular idea for many. It’s time to bring those concepts into your dining room every day!

When you eat seasonally from local sources, vegetables and fruits naturally become a cornerstone in your diet during the warm months. When local farms are churning out produce, it’s the perfect time to eat plenty of vegetables. It’s also an excellent time to preserve them so you can enjoy summer veggies all year long. Keep an eye out for winter veggies, too!

Looking to your local farms for sustenance is the most authentic form of the farm-to-table movement. Restaurants that brought this culinary idea back to the spotlight gained fame through impeccable flavors and freshness, as well as ideologies that supported ecological and economic values.

Why not bring the goodness home?

4. Set the Example

Kids need to eat their veggies (we all do, really), but we can’t expect them to do something when we’re not willing to do it. Leading by example is tried and true, and nothing sparks interest for a kid like seeing a grown-up doing something first. There’s an innate feeling of “I want to do that, too.” Learning to truly enjoy eating fresh vegetables sets a great precedent for children and fellow adults.

An easy way to make sure you’re staying on track with eating plenty of veggies is to have a day each week where you go vegetarian for one or more meals. Meatless Mondays are popular, but any day will do! You might find yourself trying new foods—and loving them. Veggie meatloaf or veggie meatballs are a great segue for meat-lovers. They’re familiar, toothsome and don’t look like veggies. Whole grains and beans make a wonderful substitute for ground meat (and chopped or pureed veggies add flavor and texture). Try a couple different recipes until you find one you love.

Show your support for local by submitting your thoughts and feedback here.

Written by Nathan Greenwood

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  • When corn is in season, we’ll do whatever we can to enjoy it in as many meals as possible, which is why we love this Crustless, Cheesy Corn Quiche Recipe. Enjoy more #paveggies ideas and #homegrownhappiness at paveggies.org. 
4 Ears of Corn – large, fresh, husked and cut off (or 3 c. frozen com, thawed)
1/3 c. Onion – chopped
1 T Butter
3 Eggs
2 c. Light Cream
1 c. Flour
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Garlic – fresh, minced
2 T. Parsley – dried (or 1/4 c. fresh)
1/4 c. Parmesan Cheese- grated
2 c. Sharp Cheddar Cheese – shredded
2 oz. jar Pimentos – chopped, drained
2 tsp. Parsley – dried – for top
1 tsp. Paprika – for top
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 10 in. quiche dish with cooking spray. Saute onions in butter and set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs, cream, and flour until completely mixed. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, parmesan cheese, and 1-1/2 c. cheddar cheese. Mix well. Blend in corn and pimentos. Pour into prepared quiche dish and sprinkle the top with the rest of the cheddar cheese, parsley, and paprika. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut and serve. Optional – Garnish with fresh parsley and fresh orange slice.

Serves 8

Recipe by: Connie Shuff, York

First Place

2005 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest
  • It’s official. Local #broccoli has been spotted at roadside stands and markets in #Pennsylvania. We’re having fun pulling unique recipes from our “contest vault” and thought this broccoli bread especially fit the bill. Have you ever tried baking broccoli into bread? Head to paveggies.org for more #paveggies inspiration, facts, and fun!

10 oz. Broccoli, fresh or frozen
4 oz Butter
1 Onion, small, chopped fine
1 c Cottage Cheese, small curd
3 Eggs
1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
Yields 1 Loaf

Cut butter into small pieces. Break broccoli in the small pieces. Mix all ingredients and put in a 9” x 5” greased and floured pan. Bake at 400ºF for 30 minutes or until done.

Recipe by: Dorothy Martin, Conestoga

Finalist – Desserts/Breads

2004 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest
  • Holy veggies! It’s already broccoli time?! PA Produce Month is just around the corner. August is the perfect time to celebrate and it’s easy to join in on the fun. We’ll be coming at you with ways to get in on the PA Produce Month action. Stay tuned for more #homegrown happiness ...and eat your local PA veggies for gosh sakes! 🌽 🍅 🥦 #repost @rt174roadside
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We are loving the #paveggies that are starting to come into season! They're delicious and make the best close-up shots! ⠀
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#rt174roadsidemarket #rt174roadside #mechanicsburgpa #papreferred #paveggies #paproduce #farmersmarket #buylocal #shoplocal #supportsmall #shopsmall #veggies #veggieseason
  • Remember to pick up dill from your local farmer if you plan to preserve this year’s bounty with pickling methods! #paveggies #pennsylvania #vegetables #veggies #homegrownhappiness #buyfreshbuylocal #bfbl #augustispaproducemonth #produce #preserve #pickle #dill #local #localfood #farmtotable #supportlocal #knowyourfarmer
  • This gingered zucchini recipe comes from our 2006 contest but a good recipe never goes out of style. Consider garnishing with a little fresh ginger too for an extra kick. Enjoy!

2 c. Zucchini – peeled and sliced
1 c. Onion – sliced
1 c. Tomatoes – chopped
2 T. Canola Oil
1/2 tsp. Ginger Powder
Salt – to taste

In a skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add onions. Stir and cook until lightly brown. Add tomatoes. Stir and cook about 7 minutes. Add ginger powder and salt. Add zucchini. Stir and cook on medium to low heat until tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve over rice or spread over toast.#paveggies #produce #homegrownhappiness #pennsylvania #veggies #vegetables #augustispaproducemonth #buyfreshbuylocal #bfbl #seasonal #eatwiththeseasons #farmtotable #zucchini #ginger #recipe
  • Kale is great but let’s not forget the original super green - spinach! It is a great source of protein, iron, and antioxidants. Spinach is quite easy to incorporate into recipes to give that meal an extra healthy boost. Bonus: it’s super easy to preserve too! Load up now from your local farmer and store some for winter when your body is craving extra nutrition. #paveggies #produce #homegrownhappiness #pennsylvania #veggies #vegetables #augustispaproducemonth #buyfreshbuylocal #bfbl #seasonal #eatwiththeseasons #farmtotable #spinach #healthy #antioxidants #iron #protein #preserve #freeze #superfood #sorrynotsorrykale
  • Too busy for veggies? A little meal prep goes a long way. Buy a little extra from your local farmer next time and make yourself some mason jar salads for the weekdays. The additional veggie intake will have you feeling great! #paveggies #produce #homegrownhappiness #pennsylvania #veggies #vegetables #salad #romaine #lettuce #tomato #onion #cucumber #healthy #mealprep #augustispaproducemonth #seasonal #eatwiththeseasons #farmtotable
  • Many recipes will call for just the white portion of a spring onion but we suggest finely chopping the green part to make a delightful garnish too. Our favorite prep tip for the spring onion? Roast the entire vegetable in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. #paveggies #springonion #pennsylvania #vegetables #homegrownhappiness #produce #simplydelicious #onions #eatwiththeseasons #spring #veggies #augustispaproducemonth
  • We’ve already got beans on the mind. Which dish would you pick: bean salad with a homemade vinaigrette or sautéed beans with an aioli sauce? #paveggies #beans #homegrownhappiness #pennsylvania #vegetables

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