Spring clean your eating and local-buying habits


Spring cleaning is more than cleaning out closets and dusting off outdoor furniture. It can also include clean-eating goals to improve habits and thinking harder about food choices that are nutritiously and economically sustainable. Thanks to Colorado farmers, ranchers and producers, local food options make it easier than ever to stick to this spring goal, adding extra value to our lives every season.

We resolve to eat right, choose foods that are good for us and grocery shop with purpose and intention. Buying local helps us combine and embrace these choices, nurturing ourselves as much as the Colorado farmers and ranchers who produce the spinach, squash, beef and everything else we are craving this this time of year. Every time we choose local produce and products, we are simultaneously boosting Colorado’s economy and heritage. That’s good news for everyone.

So while we aim to ‘eat better’ and show our appreciation for health and local food this spring, let’s take an active role in feeding Colorado’s agriculture industry, too. It’s all part of a greater awareness for healthy eating and for an economically-healthy state.

Here are eight ideas for how every Coloradan can nourish our farmers, ranchers and food businesses - and spring cleaning our eating and local-buying habits:

1. Buy local. Click and share this website to see in-store product offerings and shipping options from local producers, ranchers and manufacturers from around the state: ColoradoProud.com.

2. Pick Colorado-grown produce. Look for the Colorado Proud label, which symbolizes that a particular piece of fruit or vegetable was grown in our state. And check out what local produce is in season.

3. Buy Colorado-made products. When shopping, look for Colorado-made products, such as jams, sauces, condiments, snacks, sweets and other locally-made food products, which will also have the Colorado Proud label.

4. Support Colorado’s livestock producers. Look for Colorado beef, lamb, pork, bison and poultry or order directly from local producers.

5. Buy direct from a Colorado wholesaler. Many local companies are now selling food and products directly to end-consumers. ColoradoProud.com offers a list of companies participating under the “Wholesaler” category.

6. Dine at local restaurants. More than ever, Colorado chefs and restaurants are incorporating locally sourced ingredients into their menus.

7. Enjoy Colorado beverages. Whether you prefer adult libations, fresh kombucha or locally roasted coffee, look for Colorado-crafted alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.

8. (Virtually) thank a farmer. We are sharing many stories from Colorado farmers, ranchers and businesses on Colorado Proud’s Facebook page. Tag your favorite Colorado Proud companies.

Agriculture is an important economic driver in the state, consistently ranking as one of Colorado’s leading industries and is in the top 10 nationally for production of a variety of agricultural products. With more than 38,900 farms encompassing nearly 32 million acres, agriculture is a vital part of Colorado, supporting more than 195,000 jobs and contributing more than $47 billion to the state’s economy annually.

It’s not just the responsibility of the farmers and ranchers. It’s important for all of us to take a healthy role in feeding ourselves — and Colorado, both literally and economically. And there’s no better time of year than spring for refreshing and cleaning up our eating and our local-buying habits.

Danielle Trotta is the program manager for Colorado Proud and leads the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s work to promote food and agricultural products grown, raised or made in Colorado.


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