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Long Island Food Challenge: Do You Accept?

Local event challenges people to eat locally through the end of the month.

Your challenge - eat local, farm fresh, seasonal foods through July 31. If you are willing to accept the challenge, keep reading.

The Long Island Food Challenge asks participants to make a commitment to eat locally produced food and think about the food they eat. The challenge encourages people to learn how to continue to make healthy choices during and after the challenge. Sayville residents are fortunate to have a Farmers Market every Saturday to shop for locally grown produce.

This is the first year for the Long Island Food Challenge. "We want to teach people where their food is from," said Christine Egan, organizer of the challenge.

To register, fill out the registration form and mail your $30 fee, which includes a resource packet with detailed information where to buy locally produced vegetables, fruit, poultry, beef, dairy, and seafood; Recipes for delicious dishes prepared with seasonal food; access to members only resources on the site; a re-usable shopping bag and an opportunity to participate in cooking classes, movie screening, wine and cheese tasting, wellness lectures, and farm tours.

Egan, a Nutritional Health Counselor, graduate of the Institute of Integrated Nutrition and a member of American Academy of Drugless Practitioners, has been a member of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for five years and feels so passionate about the food. "The food tastes better, I am helping local farmers and it is better for you," said Egan about the food she purchases from the local farmers. "This was a step outside of something that I was used to doing. The challenge's resource kit includes simple and easy recipes that include ingredients that you will find in your house."

The events are taking place all over Long Island, with a few here in Sayville. There is a cooking class in Sayville later this week, a wellness lecture by Dr. Pojero on July 27 and a wine and cheese tasting at West Sayville's new American Cheese store on July 28.

Tina Annibell, a holistic nutritionist in Sayville and self-proclaimed foodie, is also promoting and organizing the Long Island Food Challenge and hopes to educate people about the benefits of eating locally.

Annibell is hosting cooking classes on July 22 and 23 in Sayville. There is an additional fee for these classes as they are three-course, sit down meals prepared using local ingredients. Check out nourishedliving.net for more information. 

"We support Long Island Farmers," said Annibell. "Instead of farms and pastures turning into strip malls and parking lots, we can keep those farms viable. It means less of a carbon footprint and the food also tastes so much better."

For more information about the events, and to join the challenge, visit www.longislandfoodchallenge.org or Christineegan.net.

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