HEALTHY, LOCAL FOOD OPTIONS IN WAVERLY

COURTNEY STUCKER, TRUMPET ONLINE MANAGER

The winter months are here.

While this means holiday dinners full of potatoes, ham and other comfort foods, it can be hard to not crave fresh strawberries or other produce available at the local farmer’s market during the warmer months.

For students, the struggle is even greater. There is hardly time, nor the money, to purchase healthier, more nutritious options as alternatives to the meals Wartburg provides on campus. The Mensa’s fruit does not always taste ripe and even tastes as if it was thawed after it was frozen.

Many want to be more ecofriendly, yet save money, which is hard to accomplish. Coming up with creative methods for saving money and time on food can be a challenge, but through a little research and footwork, here are a few tips:

BUY LOCAL

During spring, summer and fall, the Waverly Farmer’s Market is located by the Waverly Fire Station, 123 1st St SW. The local farmers in the Cedar Valley convene to sell fresh produce, baked goods, sweet honey and even jewelry.

“I have farmed in the Waverly area for most of my life,” Eric Jenson, a local producer at the Waverly Farmer’s Market, said. “The farmer’s market here is exciting and new.” Jenson sold cucumbers to peppers to onions. And the prices are friendly to college students’ budgets.

The selling stalls were bustling with customers, both young and old. However, there were no college students purchasing the fresh produce. Wartburg students could take advantage of the market and support the community.

BUY IN BULK

Buying in bulk is a bit trickier when it comes to dorm living. There is limited refrigerator space and roommates may eat what is bought ahead.

Also, shopping at a local store takes planning and brainpower.

Also, a conventional tip is to never go shopping hungry. However, look at grocery shopping from a 1,000-foot perspective, buy more on one trip to meal prep and save gas.

On the next trip to Fareway, Hy-Vee, or another location think about longterm needs versus immediate cravings. Have a “friend dinner” on the weekend instead of eating out. Cooking in the resident hall kitchens with friends on a weekend afternoon can become a new favorite memory. Instead of spending excessive amounts of cash on daily trips to the Den and Konditerei to mix things up, get creative and cook meals with friends.

Cleaning dishes and making sure to have proper cooking pans, utensils and seasonings can be a negative, but it can be worth it. The positives of cooking a friend’s dinner include spending time with friends, learning how to cook and homemade offerings. All for an extra 20 or so minutes in meal prep and cooking time.

TIP: FALSE LABELING

The Organic Consumer Association (OCA), an organization that aims to educate and protect consumers from false labeling and marketing claims, has found many unethical issues with food company marketing.

The OCA said, “They knowingly mislead consumers by claiming their products are “natural” when in fact those products contain pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), antibiotics, growth hormones and artificial ingredients.

With proper research on favorite “all natural” brands, consumers are able to support organic brands that are helping the environment and positive health initiatives.

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