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Here's an option for eating well

Food can really make us feel a lot better, even in difficult times. For older adults, staying well nourished is especially important.

These days, finding new ways to keep interested in eating healthful foods might not be as challenging as it seems. By now, we all know that numerous grocery stores are providing curbside pickups, and many stores have times set aside for older or more vulnerable adults to shop. Some of our favorite local restaurants have delivery and curbside services as well.

But there’s one other resource you may not be aware of. Many months ago, my daughter who lives in the Eugene area sent me a gift card for Rogue Produce. Since then, I have become a monthly member, and here are some reasons you might consider this, too.

Rogue Produce (https://rogueproduce.com; 541-301-3426), which calls itself an “online farmers market” on its website, is just what you might imagine. It offers a wide range of products, including vegetables, fruits, breads, snacks, meats and cheeses. At last count, there were 245 products to choose from. They source them locally whenever available and work as much as possible with local farms and small businesses that are sustainable and organic.

Here’s what it offers that makes this such a great service for anyone, and perhaps especially older adults. Each week, it sends you an email with pictures of that week’s offerings from a long list of food categories and choices. The few I mentioned above are just the beginning of the selection. After placing your order, it makes front-door deliveries on Fridays.

It offers several types of memberships. You can simply order any week (minimum order $35) and pay $12 per order for delivery. You can also decide to become a member for $99 a year or $9.99 a month. With those memberships, the delivery/processing fee is waived. It’s a great deal for getting excellent quality food, and supporting our local economy.

There’s another important consideration for those who might be living alone these days. It’s been shown that if food arrives in front of you, there is a better chance that you’ll eat healthfully. Otherwise, boredom sets in and people resort to snacks for their meals. Missing out on socialization during meals is also a factor in a change in eating habits. When people who live alone move into a community setting, they often eat better for the first time in a long time. Sitting across from someone sharing a meal and conversation make a big difference. As does having a choice of food options.

Rogue Produce also offers community composting. For $55 every three months, they will come to your door and pick up your food scraps. They donate them to local farms and businesses that turn it into compost. Members reduce the waste in our local landfill and provide a great benefit to local farmers. There’s another benefit to you. According to its website, the group offers an annual customer appreciation coupon book — exclusively for those who participate in the community compost service The coupon book contains discounts to some local restaurants and businesses.

For those of you who want to eat well, support local businesses and farms, and keep the cycle of life going with compost, Rogue Produce might be just the thing for spring.

And, the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market opened Tuesday, March 2, at the National Guard Armory on East Main Street in Ashland, and it opens Thursday in Medford. Food abundance abounds; eat heartily.

Ellen Waldman is a certified aging life care professional. Submit questions about aging and Ashland-area aging resources and column suggestions to her through her website, www.SeniorOptionsAshland.com.