What's on your plate?

PLATTSBURGH - Where does my food come from? What makes a food organic? Where in my area can I find the most nutritious food possible?

These are just a few questions that will be answered as Cornell Cooperative Extension hosts "Eating Local Yet? Finding and Using Local Foods," Thursday, May 6, at Plattsburgh High School.

Conference organizer Bernadette Logozar, local foods specialist and a rural and agricultural development specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County, said the conference was designed in response to the needs expressed by North Country residents.

"Many people are interested in buying local, but they don't necessarily know where to find it, when to find it or what's available," said Logozar. "If you don't know what to ask or how to ask, you might not ask the questions and you might not make the purchase. So, this conference is meant to help consumers ask those questions."

The conference will feature keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer L. Wilkins, a nutritional science senior extension associate with the Community Food Systems Project at Cornell University. Wilkins, creator of the first regional food guide in the U.S., will discuss how consumers can plan a diet using locally-grown foods, the health aspects of eating local foods, and how a local food system supports community food security.

"It is a good idea to learn how to eat locally for several important reasons," Wilkins said in a statement, "your health, the health of your community, and for a sustainable future."

During the conference, nutritionist Martha Pickard of the Adirondack North Country Association will give tips on "how to get the most nutritional bang for your buck with local foods."

Also, Mark Kimble, a farmer from Essex County, will discuss buying meat directly from your local farmer and Cathy Hohmeyer, owner and chef for Hohmeyer's Lake Clear Lodge, will discuss seasonal menu planning.

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