Food and Fun the Health Fair


Have you made any plans for March 12 or 13? No? Then drop by at Richland County’s Event Center for the 2013 Richland County Health Fair. This year’s Health Fair will bring about information, activities, fun and food! Is there a better combination? The theme of the upcoming fair is Farm-to-Table and couldn’t come at a better time.

Consuming ‘real’ foods, such as unprocessed fruits, vegetables, meats and milk provides us with carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals we need for a healthy development. Unfortunately, the consumption of highly processed foods, such as soft drinks, frozen dinners and candies is highly popular among Americans. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, for example, reported that on any given day 50% of the population aged 2 and older consume sugar drinks. The consumption of nutritious produce, on the other hand, is not so popular. The Montana Department of Public Health found that only 25% of Montanans eat the recommended daily 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.

So what is the problem with that? Processed foods are often high in sugar, salt, solid fats and calories. They can therefore contribute to obesity and chronic disease development, such as diabetes and hypertension. For instance, one cup of strawberries holds less than 50 calories, 8 grams of sugar and no sodium. On the other hand, one strawberry Pop-Tart provides 200 calories, 17 grams of sugar and 160 mg of sodium. Also, you may have noticed that the Pop-Tart lists around 50 ingredients, while a pack of strawberries consist of one ingredient only: strawberries. What would you chose?

This is a question you can further explore at the Richland County Health Fair. Drop by and visit the Nutrition Coalition to learn about healthy and not so healthy foods, discover the taste of blended fruits at the smoothie demonstration by Extension Agent Ludmila Keller, or attend a presentation on gardening by Extension Agent Tim Fine. We are looking forward to see you there and ‘talk food’.


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