Palisade peaches, Rocky Ford melons and Olathe sweet corn are just a few of the locally produced fruits and vegetables that have been tickling our taste buds this season. The Colorado Egg Producers (CEP) Association, a membership organization representing seven farms, would like to remind you that in addition to seasonal fruits and vegetables, there are main food staples – including eggs – which you can buy locally and enjoy all year round.
“Thinking about where your food comes and buying locally is certainly top of mind for everyone today,” explained Jerry Wilkins, president of CEP. “This is the perfect time and the ideal season to celebrate the bounty of Colorado agriculture available at grocery stores, farmers’ markets and restaurants across the state. Colorado eggs are a wonderful example. When you purchase Colorado food and agricultural products, such as eggs, you are not only getting high quality fresh products, you are also supporting Colorado's farmers, ranchers, processors and the state economy.”
Colorado Proud month is coming up in August and according to Wendy White with the Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado Proud, finding local products is easy with Colorado Proud. Colorado Proud is a program of the Colorado Department of Agriculture developed to identify food and agricultural products that are grown, raised or processed in the state. Nearly every CEP member is a proud participant in the Colorado Proud program.
CEP is committed to doing what’s right for the Colorado community, as illustrated by their regular donation of thousands of eggs to food banks throughout the state. Egg farmers throughout Colorado have an unwavering mission to provide high-quality eggs to Coloradans.
You can also support CEP, Colorado Commodities, Colorado Proud produce and other local farmers at the upcoming Colorado State Fair, August 24th through September 3rd in Pueblo. Stop by the CEP booth in the Agriculture Pavilion to see the CEP display and learn how eggs are processed, see how chickens live and see hens in an actual hen house. Information will also be available to help answer any questions you may have about egg safety and proper egg handling and cooking. The Colorado State Fair is a 140 year-old tradition. More than 480,000 people will walk through the historic gates of the fairgrounds in Pueblo to celebrate youth and agriculture. Don’t miss the fun.
Below is a list of tips from Colorado Local Sustainability and Colorado Proud on how to buy and support local food and farmers in your area.
• Tell your friends. Spreading the word about locally grown food is easy and simple. Invite your neighbors and friends over for a home cooked meal devised from all locally grown food.
• Shop Colorado Proud. Ask your local grocer if they supply local food, which can be identified by the Colorado Proud logo at grocery stories, farmers’ markets, garden centers and restaurants. Buying local doesn’t have to be difficult but it does require some planning. If they don’t buy local, ask them why and keep asking why. It will make the buyer think about buying locally.
• Research local farms and restaurants. There are a variety of websites that list local farms and restaurants that use only local food. Check out Colorado MarketMaker at www.comarketmaker.com for good local food near you.
Another great resource is the Colorado Proud website – www.coloradoproud.org. The site is a great way to find recipes, a crop calendar, agritourism activities, wineries, farmers' markets and restaurants that use Colorado products in their menus.
Choices, choices, choices. Buying local does not mean your choices are limited. For example, CEP members are proud to offer consumers the choice between cage, cage-free eggs, organic, nutrient enhanced and brown or white eggs.
You can find locally produced, fresh, wholesome and safe eggs in the dairy case of your favorite Colorado supermarkets. For a list of where to buy Colorado eggs visit coloradoeggproducers.com. You can also and like us at www.facebook.com/coeggproducers for recipes, agriculture news and interesting egg facts.