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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.

Cynthia Copeland is a dentist who attended Earth Day 2011 as an exhibitor. Her practice, Whole Health Dentistry, uses an amalgam separator to remove up to 98% of the mercury from their water waste, which prevents contaminating waste water systems that would be re-consumed through our drinking water, air, and soil.

During the festival, Cynthia took a break from her booth to walk around, and met up with some exhibitors who were encouraging about eating local foods. As the mother of two growing girls, her family goes through a lot of fresh veggies. Although she typically attended the Saturday farmer’s market to buy produce for the weekend, she still needed to make several trips to the store during the week.

Could organic vegetables last as long as conventionally grown produce? She was skeptical, but decided to experiment.  On her next trip to the Saturday market, she took three bags instead of one. Her objective was to buy for the whole week and spend close to what she normally would at the grocery store – but buying fresh and local instead.

When she got there, she took the opportunity to talk to the farmers who grew the food. She asked them specifically about how to purchase fruits and vegetables in the right stage so they would ripen throughout the week. She bought dairy, fruits and vegetables, and learned how to best store her purchases to keep them fresh longer. Rinse or no?  Refrigerate or no?

Cynthia and her family made it all the way to Thursday with her purchases from Saturday – success!

The produce from the farmer’s market lasted even longer than the conventional produce, and everything she purchased from the local vendors was crisp, tasty, and fresh with little effort. Plus, she didn’t need to drive back and forth to the store multiple times a week.

Conventionally grown produce can travel across many countries, states, and cities before finally arriving in Santa Barbara. That travel consumes a lot of energy. Not only that, but shopping farmer’s markets helps support our own local economy.  Join Cynthia and try it out for yourself!

Find the schedule and seasonal recipies on the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market Website or connect with them on their Facebook Page.

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