Have you explored your local farmers market? Shopping and eating seasonally from a local farmers market tastes better, has higher nutritional values, promotes healthy eating habits, reduces environmental damage from shipping foods, and can even save you money.
When you shop at your neighborhood grocery store, you may not realize that most of the produce comes from thousands of miles away and is picked before it ripens. Often, the fruits and vegetables are not in season, even though the store is selling them. So you might see peaches, a summer fruit, in October and butternut squash, a fall vegetable, in June!
Here are our top 10 reasons for shopping at your local farmers market.
Shopping at a farmers market that only features in-season produce means the produce is freshest and tastes its best. These fruits and vegetables ripen in the field and are brought directly to you. There is no tampering with the fruit and no sitting in storage on shelves for long periods of time. There is a very good chance that the apple you’re buying was picked by a farmer a few days ago!
Fresh produce is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients and is as pure as your shopping experience can be. A lot of the produce found in grocery stores is highly processed. The fresh produce you do find in the supermarket is often grown using harmful chemicals and tactics including antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and genetic modification. In many cases it has been waxed, or gassed in transit. This is not the case at the farmers market. Many farmers spend a lot of time nourishing their soil and giving their crops nutrients and you benefit from their hard work!
3. Saving Money
Seasonal eating habits are less expensive. The products you are buying are readily available and are grown close by, which limits shipping costs. Also because there is no middle-man, like a supermarket, you are getting the best possible price.