July 11, 2013
INCORPORATE LOCAL PRODUCE INTO YOUR SUMMER FESTIVITIES WITH GIANT & MARTIN’S
Carlisle, PA – Summer is the perfect time to find an abundance of locally grown, fresh produce from neighboring farms and that's why GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN’S Food Markets are proud to bring back their signature Local Route program in all stores. Each week, GIANT/MARTIN’S produce departments will highlight what local items are fresh in-store that week and also what farm those items came from.
GIANT/MARTIN’S has been a leader in the buy local movement for many years, supporting local farmers and manufacturers in the states where they operate stores. When consumers and retailers purchase products from within their own communities, not only do local companies benefit, but so does the local economy as money and resources stay within that community. GIANT/MARTIN’S has been a proud participant in Pennsylvania’s buy local program PA Preferred since it was launched, receiving the first-ever PA Preferred “Retailer of the Year” award along with the Leadership Award for Excellence in Agriculture presented by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Additionally, we also participate in Maryland’s Best and Virginia Grown.
Customers can find local products in GIANT/MARTIN’S stores throughout the year, but during the summer months many “in season” produce items have come right from the ground in a nearby town or county.
“Fruits and vegetables are nature’s treat and easy to grab for a snack or a side dish,” said Maryann Moylan, GIANT/MARTIN’S nutritionist. “With an abundance of local offerings to choose from, the possibilities for grilling, cooking or baking are unlimited.” Here are some popular local produce items that are currently in season and tips on how to select and maximize freshness.
- Green beans – They should be a bright green color with velvet-like texture and no discoloration. You can tell they are fresh when they easily snap in half. Don’t wash them until you are ready to use them and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
- Corn -Look for husks with a good green color and pale colored silk. Gently pull the top of the husk away. If the kernels are discolored, dented or missing from several rows, that means the corn is not fresh. To store, simply keep un-husked corn in the refrigerator. If you husk the corn, place in storage bags before refrigerating. Eat as soon as possible for maximum taste and freshness.
- Tomatoes - When buying tomatoes, look for those with a deep, rich red color. They should be without wrinkles, cracks or bruises. If a tomato yields to light pressure, it’s ripe. Tomatoes are sensitive to cold and should be stored at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Tomatoes will keep up to a week, depending on ripeness at the time of purchase.
- Cucumbers – Cucumbers should be firm with a bright even color throughout. Be sure to avoid those that have soft spots or blemishes. If not using right away, store in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
- Peppers - Choose peppers that are firm with smooth skin and a fairly even shape. The coloring should be uniform, with no blemishes, soft spots or wrinkles. Store green peppers in the produce drawer of your refrigerator for 5–7 days.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2013, GIANT/MARTIN’S, headquartered in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, operates nearly 200 grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, under the names of GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN’S Food Markets. GIANT/MARTIN’S employs more than 31,000 associates. Founded in 1923, GIANT and MARTIN’S have a long-standing commitment to eradicate hunger and improve the quality of life for children in addition to working with hundreds of local organizations annually. The company was recognized for its leadership in the fight against hunger with the Golden Grocer Award by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, GIANT/MARTIN’S is one of the top ten fund-raisers in the country for local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. GIANT and MARTIN’S are Ahold companies. For more information visit www.GiantFoodStores.com and www.MartinsFoods.com. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/giantfoodstores and facebook.com/martinsfoods.