Local, Great Tasting Healthy Food, and Good for the Environment! Certified farmers’ markets enable certified farmers to sell seasonal, often organic, only local grown and raised produce and food products. Typically, products sold must be produced by the producer upon the producer’s land.
What’s In It For You and Me?
Locally produced food is fresher, tastes better and is environmentally friendly- it dramatically reduces the energy cost to get the food to the table. And farmers’ markets are flush with always local, organic foods which use neither fertilizers nor pesticides which together account for more than 1/3 of the energy used to make food.
Then there’s the health benefit of organic food. Not that organic food is, in itself, necessarily healthier than other food but that the absence of pesticides and insecticides makes it a better choice. Today, the EPA considers 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides, and 30% of all insecticides as potentially cancer-causing.
Farmers’ Market Shopping Tips
o Use the Market as a place to plan your meal. Shop and eat “seasonally”.
o Use your senses to find the best items. Smell, touch (gently) and taste.
o Allow time; meander. It’s great family fun!
o Bring cash. Credit card acceptance is rare. So are ATM machines.
o Buy something new occasionally. Ask a friend, the person next to you or the producer to give you some ideas on how to use it.
o Get the kids involved. Let them choose and buy produce they will eat. It will help make them responsible for eating fruits and vegetables.
o Take a cloth bag. It’s sustainable and environmentally friendly.
o Bring a friend. Turn someone else on to the food and community spirit at the Farmers’ Market.
o Arrive early for selection and the opportunity to chat with the producer. You’ll find parking too!
o Arriving late is better than not arriving. Prices may be better too!
“The farmers market is quickly emerging as the new public square in this country. At the farmers market country meets city. Children are introduced to where our food comes from. People politic. They have petitions. They schmooze. It’s an incredibly vibrant space. The farmers market of CSA lets us reconnect through these plants, animals and their farmers to the natural world. We’ve always looked to food for that connection.”
Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”