Farmers’ Markets

Yu Shing Ting
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Friday - April 21, 2006
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In an effort to promote healthy eating, Kaiser Permanente has launched Fresh Day Farmers’ Market, a national community project where vendors bring in healthy products such as fresh fruits and vegetables to sell at Kaiser hospitals and clinics across the country.

“The farmers’market is part of our prevention plan,” says Ashlyn Izumo, regional coordinator of the farmers’ market program for Kaiser Permanente. “We want to take more of a stance of being a wellness center where we teach you how to take care of yourself and provide opportunities. We don’t want people to think of us as just the place you go to when you’re sick.”

The farmers market is part of Kaiser’s H.E.A.L. (healthy eating, active living) program. Along with its healthy products, Kaiser’s farmers’ market also offers a variety of free activities such as aerobics, cooking demonstrations, Latin dancing and health seminars on varying days at various sites.

“The farmers’ markets and activities are open to the community, you don’t have to be a Kaiser member to participate,” adds Izumo. “We don’t make any profit off of this. It’s our community project. We partner with these local farmers and vendors to offer this program.

“Also, the previous weather has really hurt our local farmers, and we’re asking people to go out not only to our market, but the other farmers’markets to support these vendors.”

Vendors vary at each site with products ranging from produce and breads to salsa and cookies, as well as healthy coffee and tea alternatives. There’s also seafood and soy meat products.

“At each of our farmers’ markets you can expect about seven vendors,” says Izumo. “And all of our products have to be healthy.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 74 percent of the national population does not eat the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

“We’re definitely trying to get people to make small changes in their life,” says Izumo. “We’re trying to get the “potato-mac-salad people” to eat healthier, and maybe next time they have a family party to go to, take a tossed salad instead of the traditional potato and mac salad.

“I think people don’t eat healthy because of a lack of time and awareness and education - they just don’t know how to. Also, I think a lot of people think that healthy means just eating fruits and vegetables, but we believe you can enjoy anything in moderation.”

Currently, Kaiser Permanente has opened 22 farmers’ markets across five states, with five of those in Hawaii. For more information, call 432-2270.

Kaiser Permanente Fresh Day Farmers’ Market Schedule:

* Fresh Mondays

NANAIKEOLA CLINIC, every Monday, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

* Fresh Tuesdays

NANAIKEOLA CLINIC, every Tuesday, 11a.m.-2 p.m.

* Fresh Wednesdays

KOOLAU CLINIC, every first and third Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (produce available for purchase by 7 a.m.)

WAIPIO CLINIC, every second and fourth Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

* Fresh Thursdays

MOANALUA HOSPITAL, every Thursday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

* Fresh Fridays

HONOLULU CLINIC, every Friday, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Some of the vendors participating in Kaiser’s Farmers’ Market program (vendors vary at different sites):

Alex Products Gros Bonnet Culinary Academy

Hawaiian Chef Hawaiian Orchids Healthy Café Mao Farms Nalo Meli Honey Ohana Seafoods Paradise Café Paul Lovan Farms Penny’s Orchids Pit Farmers Roy Chun Uncle Derek’s Hawaiian Lomilomi

Vitamark Watanabe Floral Xian’s Enterprises Xotic Eats

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