Mississippi’s achievement of “fattest state in the nation” for seven years running is an economic problem. In addition to significant healthcare costs to treat chronic illnesses like Type II diabetes and heart disease, the productivity lost due to poor health defies calculation.
A large part of the solution to Mississippi’s overweight woes lies in healthy eating, which involves eating more vegetables. By eating locally grown, seasonal produce and supporting regional farmers, consumers stimulate their local economy and consume nutrient-rich food. Out-of-state produce from commercial farms — picked while green so it can ripen on a 2,000-mile journey to Mississippi — is usually inferior in nutritional quality when compared to seasonal food from local growers.
Nationwide, the movement to support local farmers, called “farm to table,” is catching on.
The Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association, partnered…