Eating healthy is crucial to leading an active and positive lifestyle. Choosing your foods can not only depend on your preferences, but your location.
Did you know that Arkansas is the top U.S. producer of rice? That’s right! Our state has a large presence in the country’s farming industry. Spring in Arkansas means several types of fruit and vegetables are available and ready to be eaten! When you are searching for healthy options, think about these locally grown items.
“We encourage patients and friends to choose locally grown produce and food items when available,” Paula Cantu, RD, LD, NARMC Food and Nutrition Director, said. “Not only are you supporting your local economy, but you are eating fresh and healthy items.”
According to the USDA, below are the food items locally grown in the state of Arkansas:
Fruits: Apples, Apricots, Blackberries, Blueberries (tame and wild), Cantaloupes and Muskmelons, Cherries (sweet), Figs, Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Persimmons, Plums and Prunes, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Watermelons
Veggies: Asparagus, Beans (green lima and snap), Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage (Chinese and head), Carrots, Cauliflower, Collards, Cucumbers and Pickles, Eggplant, Garlic, Kale, Lettuce (head and leaf), Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Okra, Onions (dry and green), Parsley, Peas (Chinese and green), Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radishes, Spinach, Squash (summer and winter), Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnip Greens, Turnips
Grains: Corn for grain (e.g., flour), Oats, Rice*, Rye, Wheat
Protein: Bass (hybrid striped), Beef, Bison, Carp, Catfish, Chicken, Crawfish, Duck, Eggs, Elk, Emu, Goat, Goose, Hazelnuts (Filberts), Lamb, Ostrich, Partridge, Peanuts, Pecans, Perch, Pheasant, Pigeon or Squab, Pork, Quail, Rabbit, Soybeans, Tilapia, Turkey, Venison, Walnuts
Dairy: Milk, Milk from sheep and goats
Arkansas is the top producer of rice in the U.S.
Arkansas is also a major producer of broilers, other meat-type chickens, and turkeys.
Up to 22% of schools in Arkansas are using local and regional foods to serve healthy, MyPlate-inspired meals to kids. That’s over $1.2 million invested in the local economy!
Locally grown items can be found at area farmer’s markets.