Putting Michigan Produce On Your Menu: How to Buy and Use Michigan Produce in Your Institution


January 1, 2010 - Kathryn Colasanti, <matts@msu.edu>, Ruth Blackburn, Scott Corrin & Jeanne Hausler

Did you know that Michigan farms grow more types of fruits and vegetables than most states in the country? As interest in fresh, local products has grown, more of these fruits and vegetables are being sold in Michigan for fresh consumption instead of being processed or exported. Local foods can be harvested and served at the peak of freshness and nutritional value. Buying local products, whether through distributors or directly from farmers, also supports our local farm families and Michigan’s economy, which benefits all of us. This booklet was created to help Michigan schools, hospitals, and other institutions buy and use Michigan produce on their menus year-round.

The availability window for fresh Michigan produce is getting longer through the use of greenhouses and insulated hoop houses and through improved storage methods that extend the fresh season even further. Many kitchens have also increased the use of old stand-bys such as freezing, preserving, canning and drying. This booklet includes availability guides for Michigan produce that show the extended season and storage capability of many fresh fruits and vegetables.

While not all farmers are using post-harvest storage and season extension technology, we encourage you to ask your suppliers about fresh Michigan produce beyond the traditional summer and fall harvest months and to seek out the producers who are pushing the limits of the growing season. This booklet includes additional guides to help you calculate how much to buy in a variety of measures to meet purchasing, inventory and recipe needs. We have also included tips for storing and using many of the fresh items, plus food safety reminders and resources for locating farmers in your area.

We hope you will continue to increase your use (and enjoyment!) of the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables available in our great state.

Download the document to learn more!




Accessibility Questions:

For questions about accessibility and/or if you need additional accommodations for a specific document, please send an email to ANR Communications & Marketing at anrcommunications@anr.msu.edu.