With the advent of spring, there’s no better time to ditch the drudgery of your supermarket routine and check out your local farmers’ markets. Need a reason besides a change of scenery? Here’s eight of them.
1. Better Prices
On average, the prices for the same fruits and vegetables at a local farmers’ market are lower than a supermarket since the farmers are often the direct producers of what they’re selling.
2. Fresher Food
Most food in grocery stores come from an average of 15,000 miles away. In the process, it may have been gassed, waxed and/or irradiated. By comparison, much of the food at the local farmers’ market has come from just a few miles away and may have been picked the very same day.
3. Greater Variety
If you’ve spent your life shopping in supermarkets, you may think there is only one kind of green pepper, tomato, or beet. Many farmers’ markets offer a dizzying array of varieties including unusual heirloom types rarely seen in larger stores.
4. Better Nutrition
If you’re one of the growing number of citizens concerned about pesticides, genetically modified organisms, hormones, and antibiotics in the food supply, then there’s no better place to shop than a farmers’ market. Many have a fair number of organic growers. Even if not listed as strictly organic, chances are local farmers have used far less chemicals and medications than supermarket produce and meat.
5. Supports Your Local Economy
Shopping at a farmers’ market means approximately 70% of your money stays in the local economy. In fact, most of it goes directly into the hands of those producing high quality food, and there’s no more important bedrock of a community’s economic future than that.
6. Supports Humane Farming
Meat from local farmers is much more likely to have come from animals raised in their natural environment. Their animals have grown up grazing on grass, not being fed growth hormones and antibiotics and never setting foot in a pasture.
7. Get to Know Local Farmers
One of the great things about shopping at a farmers’ market is that you get to know the people who grew your food. And for many of them, it’s not just how they make a living, it’s their passion and they are only too happy to answer questions.
8. There’s One Close to You
Almost anywhere you live in America, you can find at least one high quality farmers’ market. If you don’t know where to find one and need help, check out this USDA directory.
So what are you waiting for? There’s no better time to create a food habit you’ll thank yourself for in the years to come.Tags: featured