Salmon and Healthy Eating- and Why They Matter to Eachother

Lauren Reetz, Sustainability Intern
Lauren Reetz, Sustainability Intern

The health of salmon habitat is inextricably linked with our food production choices. It is for this reason that the Salmon Center’s garden is Certified Organic, refraining from the use of any pesticides or herbicides that could wash into waterways and impact salmon health. This choice is not only beneficial for salmon, but also for our garden patrons!  Our choice to operate pesticide-free in cultivating fresh produce allows us to prioritize the health of the Belfair community as well. Eating healthy is a struggle for many individuals, for various reasons.  This year, we are hoping to use our platform as a Certified Organic garden to eliminate some of these reasons. To do so, we will increase access to, and understanding of, healthy eating and farming practices!

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This year, the Salmon Center has retained an AmeriCorps intern that will be spending the year increasing nutrition education in our community. Lauren will be working as our Sustainability Coordinator until July 2015. As part of AmeriCorps “Healthy Futures” program, she will be working with us to develop programs, events, and curriculum that not only discuss individual health, but also the interconnected ecological health—namely of salmon and their habitat—affected by personal decisions and behavior.

Lauren’s current project is her “Healthy Eating on a Budget” workshop, which will be held at the Salmon Center on Wednesday, January 14 from 6-8 PM. The workshop is free, and all are invited to attend! Her workshop is adapted from the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, but has been expanded to meet those guidelines with additional budget-friendly tips and tricks! As a recent graduate living on an AmeriCorps stipend, Lauren has supplemented firsthand experience with research to determine the best ways to eat and cook healthily on a budget. The workshop will give an overview of many basic nutrition concepts, including how to effectively read nutrition labels, understand appropriate levels of sodium and sugar, distinguish nutrient-dense from nutrient-empty items, and understand personal estimated calorie needs. The workshop will delve deeper into these ideas, including, for example, understanding 0-calorie drinks, how to read produce stickers, and which items should be bought organically and why.  Hands-on activities will provide insight on how to make smart swaps in terms of salt and sugar, and how to shop and cook efficiently and cheaply. She will also talk about our free, organic U-Pick garden and our P-Patch, where you can grow your own produce for yourself and your family. You will be sent home with fantastic materials to make healthy eating feasible and fun. Please RSVP to Lauren today to be a part of this engaging and informative workshop! Your health and your bank account will thank you!

To RSVP, please call Lauren at (360) 275-3575 ext. 10 or email her at AmeriCorps1@pnwsalmoncenter.org

We hope to see you there! Stay tuned for more of Lauren’s Healthy Future events throughout the year!

 

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