Summer is fresh fruit and veggie nirvana. That’s right, it’s peak season for all of Mother Nature’s warm-weather goodness. And where’s the best place to find all that healthy deliciousness? Your local famers market, of course! Yes, it’s hot and it may even be humid (it is here!) but don’t let that discourage you from getting out there. Here are 5 reason to shop your farmers market now.
Fresher, More Affordable Local Fruits & Veggies
The produce you find at your local farmers market is, quite frankly, fresher. You’ll find a variety of fresh produce (most grown with organic methods) at very affordable prices. And because it was grown locally, there is a good chance that the greens you buy from a local farmer were picked just yesterday. Absolutely not possible in a big supermarket. And, the wonderful thing about a farmers market is it offers the consumer an opportunity to actually talk to the farmer and learn about growing methods. In most cases, the farmers and ranchers will even allow you to come and visit their farm or ranch. How great to know not only where, but how your food was grown.
There is usually an amazing variety of fruits and veggies at your local farmers market. Each farmer will generally have his own variety of tomatoes, greens, watermelons, etc. Plus, (at least here in Texas) you can generally find items like fresh eggs, locally sourced beef, chicken and lamb, and fresh baked goods, as well as artisan products like honey and even wine! At your local farmers market, you can find new varieties, discuss what the product is, how to cook, serve and also store it. And you get the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting your local community.
Greater Food Safety
Food from your local farmers market is generally safer. Remember the bagged spinach/E. coli outbreak of a few years ago? Buying locally would eliminate many of these types of risks. Not only are you buying from a single grower, but produce from a local farmers market would be very easy to track if someone became sick. Plus, you’ll be eliminating the risk of cross contamination from mass harvested and mass bagged produce.
You Can Eat With The Season
By shopping at your local farmers market, you will eat seasonally appropriate, fresh, ripe produce. Supermarkets offer produce which is picked before it has ripened full. It’s typically stored for long periods before coming to the sales floor, decreasing its vitality and nutrients. And many are now beginning to believe that the body does not need imported pineapple in the dead of winter (unless you live in Hawaii, of course!) and eating with the season can increase overall health.
Farmers markets are just plain fun for the whole family, including your 4-legged family members. Meeting family, co-workers and friends at the market is an excellent way to feel connected to the world around you. You can get some outdoor exercise, talk with many diverse people about a wide array of topics —all while planning a wonderful meal for your family. What’s not to love about that?
So, now that you know how fun and beneficial shopping at your local farmers market can be, what are you waiting for? Summer’s goodness is just around the corner –at your local farmers market.