DENVER – August 2013 - 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, wants to remind Coloradans that in addition to seasonal fruits and vegetables, eggs are a food staple that shoppers can buy locally and enjoy year-round.
“Thinking about where food comes and buying locally is top-of-mind for many people today,” said Mike Surles, local egg farmer and CEP member. “This is the perfect time of year to celebrate the bounty of Colorado-produced food available at grocery stores, farmers’ markets and restaurants across the state. Colorado eggs are a wonderful example. When you purchase locally produced eggs, you are not only getting high-quality fresh products, you are also supporting Colorado's farmers, ranchers, processors and the state’s economy.”
Colorado Proud Month, which takes place every August, is a time to recognize and celebrate all of the fresh food and produce grown by our own local Colorado farmers and ranchers. 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.
Buying locally laid eggs gives Coloradans many buying choices. example, CEP members are proud to offer consumers the choice between cage, cage-free eggs, organic, nutrient enhanced and brown or white eggs.
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 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 stores, farmers’ markets, garden centers and restaurants. Buying local doesn’t have to be difficult but it does require some planning. If your grocer doesn’t buy local, ask them why and keep asking why. It will make the store 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 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, wineries, farmers' markets and restaurants that use Colorado products in their menus.
You can also support CEP, Colorado Commodities, Colorado Proud produce and other local farmers at the upcoming Colorado State Fair from August 23rd to September 2nd in Pueblo, Colo. Stop by the CEP booth to learn how eggs are produced and processed and see how chickens are raised. Information will also be available to help answer any questions you may have about egg recipes, nutrition and proper egg handling and cooking. The Colorado State Fair is a 141 year-old tradition. More than 480,000 people will walk through the historic gates of the fairgrounds in Pueblo to celebrate youth and agriculture.
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 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 and more fun facts visit our website at www.coloradoeggproducers.com.
You can also find CEP on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for recipes, agriculture news and interesting egg facts.