Shoppers can find more than 8,000 farmers markets throughout America. They offer a wide range of unique products. These goods include fruits, berries, vegetables, jams, cookies and even quilts. Are you shopping your local farmers market? If not, here are five top reasons you should start:
1. Healthier & More Affordable: You're likely to find organic foods that haven't been genetically modified. Because farmers who operate independently and sell locally aren’t producing food on a national scale, their methods tend to be more grassroots without the need for GMOs, antibiotics, hormones, waxing and gassing. You can even talk directly to the farmer to learn about their methods. If you compare the prices with those of supermarkets, you'll discover that organic vegetables often cost less at farmers markets.
2. Supporting Local Farmers & Small Businesses: The products normally come from local farms and other small businesses. When you purchase them, you help nearby farm owners earn a living and provide employment in your area. Small farms tend to use methods that inflict less harm on animals and the earth. They also frequently support local retailers, such as hardware stores and equipment dealers.
3. Fresher Fruits & Veggies: These markets provide fresher produce than most grocers. Freshness greatly improves the flavor and nutritional content. Vivid colors in fruits and vegetables are a reflection of the nutrients they contain. Compare that to the produce from supermarkets that often sell fruits and vegetables that have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles. It can take a week or longer for them to reach customers' dining tables.
4. Variety: There is usually an abundance of fruits and veggies to choose from. Typically at supermarkets you'll only find the varieties that can survive importing and shipping. At many farmers markets, you can find heirloom varieties, which means that their seeds have been naturally handed down for generations in a specific region.
5. Eat Seasonally, All Year Long:
Gather and store delectable, in-season foods for the future when they are out of season, more expensive in stores, or completely unavailable. Vacuum sealing
is a great way to seal in a lot of the freshness and flavors from your farmers market purchases.
The bottom line: It's healthier and more enjoyable to eat food from a farmers market. These products also support the local economy and offer eco-friendly advantages. Additionally, the market provides a more colorful shopping experience with opportunities to meet area farmers, connect with your community, learn about various foods, find delicious homemade treats and possibly hear live music. Visit Local Harvest or the USDA to find a farmers market near you!