Are convenience foods really that convenient?

MASON CITY, Iowa – Three local organizations are teaming up to conquer some health food fears in hopes of getting residents to eat more nutritious meals.

“It’s Hy-Vee partnering with the County of Public Health, and were doing some stuff about making easy steps to eating fresh,” says Hy-Vee Dietitian Jess Pavlinec.

There are plenty of excuses when it comes to grabbing fast food, and that’s maybe the main reason folks consume it, it’s fast.

“We run a commercial business, and are in between jobs. We’re in a hurry, so we just decided not to cook at home tonight and just grabbed a burger,” says consumer Joel Krutsinger.

But, Pavlinec believes everyone has time to eat healthy.

“This is also quick and easy. You just have to stop off the road at the farmers market and grab some fresh stuff. take it home with you and make your meals,” she says.

Another reason for grabbing food on the go is the fact that no cooking is necessary, which is good for those who don’t know how.

That’s why Hy-Vee dietitians and the Cerro Gordo County Department of Health are encouraging those to attend their free cooking demonstrations during the farmers market. Pavlinec says it’s the perfect place, because folks can watch the recipe made and buy the ingredients right there.

“Yeah we have a lot of different vendors from all around the community. All different areas, and coming with new things especially recently, now with things popping up like green beans, cucumbers,  tomatoes, all that kind of stuff,” she says.

So, next time you find yourself inching towards a drive through window, Pavlinec says, head to the fresh food isle or farmers market instead.

“We have lots of fresh produce coming in this time of year, everything is fresh and even local,” she says.

The next demonstration takes place on July 29th at the Mason City Farmers Market. If you need extra help, Hy-Vee does these cooking demo’s once a week.

And if you want to know when your local farmers market is, here is a listing of a few:

Austin – 4-7pm Mon. and Thurs. 9am-12pm Sat.

Albert Lea – 4-6pm Wed. 9am-12pm Sat.

Rochester – 7:30am-12pm Sat.

Clear Lake – 8am-12pm Sat.

Mason City – 3-6pm Tues. Fri.

Forest City – 3-6pm Thurs.

Charles City – 3:30-6pm Wed. 9am-12pm Sat.

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