by BAILEE OLIVA
Everyone always wants to know new ways to get in shape and live a healthier lifestyle, but they often end up finding themselves in a supplement store to keep up with their daily vitamins. The problem is that the excessive intake of these supplements can become dangerous to our bodies. For example, large amounts of vitamin E supplements can lead to prostate cancer, and sometimes the vitamins can be spiked with prescription drugs. The bottom line is that if you want to be healthy then it is best to stay away from a high amount of supplements and vitamins, and start leaning towards organic foods. You can easily find all natural foods locally.
There is always a way to gain access to organic and fresh products and as well as alternative choices to foods filled with additives. Having an agriculture based economy, The Valley has numerous options open to everyone. And, if you happen to find yourself in Clovis or Fresno, you can mosey on over to one of the most popular organic grocery stores, Trader Joe’s, where they buy all of their products directly from suppliers. But just to name a few places to shop here in Tulare County there is Blain Farms, Watson’s Health Food Store, Rosa Brothers Milk Company, and our recurring Farmer’s Market.
Blain Farms is a company that grows, processes, packages, sells, and exports a wide variety of walnuts, pecans, and other delicious types of nuts. This company is branched off of Atlas World Food and Agriculture. You can find a supplier on 2140 East Caldwell Avenue here in Visalia.
Another local company is the Rosa Brothers Milk Company that is a family owned dairy that produces some of the freshest, most wholesome, and natural milk available to Tulare County. They sell many different types of milk (including their odd root beer flavored milk), ice cream, cheese, and more. They also sell their milk in glass bottles that you are able to keep, reuse, and refill whenever you please. Best of all, their cows are not given any growth hormones and are some of the healthiest within the community. You can find their products at Best Buy Market, Glicks Meat Market, BL Quality Meats, and Le Boulevard in town. Or if you are willing to drive a few extra minutes, you can stop by one of the places where they produce the milk at Rosa Brothers Milk Company on 2400 South K Street in Tulare.
If you don’t want to be limited to just nuts and milk, then you can go down Main Street to find Watson’s Health Food Store. Their produce garden is always stocked with seasonal vegetables and fruits. They also have what they call their “Garden Menu” where you can buy freshly made soups, veggie burgers, drinks, salads, and more. They have been in business for over fifty years and continue to tend to anyone looking for an all natural diet.
The Farmer’s Market is very well known in Visalia, and is also very popular. The market supports local farmers while providing citizens with high quality fruits and vegetables that will make your tastebuds go insane. In Downtown Tulare, The Farmer’s Market happens May through October every Tuesday during the evenings. Visalia offers it Downtown March through October every Thursday from 5 to 8 PM, and the year round market happens every Saturday morning in the Sears parking lot.
One of the great things about finding items locally is that you support the town’s small businesses and help the community grow into something much more grand. Buying from these companies allows you to know exactly where your food is coming from, and you are also supporting The Valley’s greatest base of its economy, farming. And, because you will be buying directly from the source, the cost of the middleman will be cut out. The locality of organic foods preserves the open space needed for our resources and supports a cleaner environment by lessening the carbon footprint that is caused by big industries transporting of goods. When you eat locally and organically you are not only helping better yourself, but also your community.