10 Smart Reasons Why You Should Shop at a Farmer’s Market

April 27, 2017

in Ask Dr Lisa

 

“Dr. Lisa, I was wondering if shopping at a farmer’s market would be a healthier idea than buying fruits and vegetables at my supermarket. I am just not sure if going to a farmer’s market is any different than what I buy at my supermarket. Is this something I should do or is it no big deal?” ~Debra, TN

I just love to shop at our local farmer’s market and now is the best time of year to do so. Your local farmer’s market provides incredible benefits. If you are not shopping at one, allow me to share with you my reasons why you should make this a top healthy living priority.

Super Fresh Food

Food at your supermarket simply is not as fresh as your local farmer’s market.  In fact, the food at your supermarket is quite old having been picked, transported on delivery trucks and possibly sent to distribution centers and put on delivery trucks once again as they bring you food that could be from far away. Your local farmer on the other hand, most likely has just fresh picked his food from his farm, loading it onto his truck to bring it right to you.

Highly Nutritious

Many local farmers nurture their land, soil and harvest by using beneficial and safe farming methods. In doing so, they produce more nutritious, vibrant and fresh fruits and vegetables than their conventional supermarket competitors. Have you ever noticed how so many fruits and vegetables in the supermarket lack vibrant colors and freshness?  I find mold in the strawberries almost every week. I also get turned off how soft and mushy the avocados are as well as, soft and browning bell peppers. However, at my local farmer’s market, the fruits and vegetables are gorgeous and perfectly ripe, without mold or mush. Choosing produce that is at the right stage of ripening makes them more nutritious than choosing them when they are old and on their way out.

Lovely Cost

The cost of food in my supermarket is insane, and every month it seems the cost keep going up. This drives me nuts because the quality, freshness and nutritional value of their food choices do not improve with this increase price gauging.  Local farmer’s markets are typically cheaper than the supermarket especially when buying organic produce. How awesome is it that we can buy organic fresh produce at an affordable price without going very far?

Location Convenience

As I just mentioned, farmer’s markets are local to your area. Depending upon where you live, you typically do not have to drive far to find produce that is fresh and nutritious. Some farmer’s markets are located in nice areas of town to attract consumers which makes the trip quite pleasurable. Having a local farmer’s market that you can walk or drive a short distance to outweighs the trip many people take to chain food stores such as Costco, Whole Foods or Wegmans.

Organic & Non-GMO

Many local farmers use healthy farming practices. They tend to not use harmful pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Instead, they use natural and environmentally safe alternative methods to keeping produce safe from insects such as rotating crops and tending to soil correctly. Local farmers also tend to not use genetically engineered seeds (GMOs). Organic farming is beneficial to our body, the environment and our land.

Community Love

Famer’s markets can be a fun trip out. It is a great place for the town community to gather together and also with the farmers. I try to stay mindful of slowing down and enjoying the experience instead of rushing through food shopping like I do in the supermarket. If you slow down and allow yourself to talk to the people, especially the farmer’s, you will learn a lot about food and farming as well as, make some new friends. It can be a happy and enjoyable food shopping experience.

Support Local Farmers & Organic Farming

Today our foods are highly processed and bought form overseas. Big corporations focus on creating low quality and non-nutritious food so they can increase their finical gain. They are not concerned about providing consumers like you and me with fresh nutritious local grown food. If you read food ingredient labels on conventional foods, you will see most of them loaded with man-made chemicals and harmful ingredients. You also will learn how much of the produce is not only not fresh, but highly sprayed with harmful pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Dig a bit deeper and you also will discover that most produce is purchased from very far away states or countries where farming practices vary gravely.

Supporting local farmers has never been more important than it is today. It is one of the most gracious and intelligent practices you can do to contribute in making the world better. Each time you buy from a local farmer and or purchase organic produce form them, you are saying YES to their farming practices and NO to conventional big corporation practices. You are saying you want to keep food growing in your area on local land. Most importantly, you are saying yes to real nutritious food with sustainable practices and no to foods loaded with chemicals, cultivated from genetically engineered seeds and imported from everywhere but the farms in your area.

 A Small Carbon Footprint

When you buy from your local farmer’s market, you are reducing the amount of gasoline needed to transport foods from other countries or states to your supermarket and onto the shelf. Each time we use less transportation, we decrease the amount of carbon monoxide emitted and this results in a healthier environment. Local farmers bring the food directly to your community form their local farms, thus reducing the overall carbon emission or what we call the carbon footprint that each food has.

Bring the Kids

As a nutritionists one of the most common problems I see parents facing is how to get their children to eat healthy. Most families have picky eaters, but that still is not an excuse to not teach your child the benefits and skills of eating healthy. Trust me, I have tackled this issue in my home head on so I know the importance of taking your kids to your local farmer’s market (and farms). Have your child find certain fruits or vegetables on your shopping list. This helps your child learn what certain fruits and vegetables as well as overcome sensory issues such as sight, smell and touch regarding food. Find an easy healthy recipe that your child would love to make and then go to the farmer’s market to find the ingredients. When you get home, make that yummy recipe with your child –you oversee your child making it. Get them at the farm and in the kitchen.

Try New Foods

Believe it or not, your local farmer’s market is an incredible experience in learning and trying new foods. Farming is seasonal which means you will find produce that is in season. You may be surprised how many fruits or vegetables you may not know about or how to cook. Do not let the unknown scare you. Ask the farmers and other shoppers what to do with something like Rutabaga because they will be tickled pink to give you their best healthy recipes. Also, take your time and really look around. My local farmer’s market has our local bee collector who sells the most delicious healthy raw honey. I also buy his 100% real maple syrup and his products are like no other and way cheaper than my supermarket products imported from faraway lands using practices I will never know about and creating massive carbon footprints.

I am over the moon excited as our local farmers are working hard to produce a seasonal harvest for my family and me. Not only will I be buying affordable healthy and fresh food for my family, but I will be choosing to support local farming, cutting back on carbon emission and harmful conventional industrial practices that are hard on our land and environment and unhealthy to our bodies. My children will be a part of a fun and pleasurable experience, learning how to create a healthy eating lifestyle now and for their lifetime.

Are you going to be shopping at your local farmer’s market?

Try my amazing Quinoa Crust Vegetable Pizza with your fresh fruits and veggies!

If you find the food wisdom above to be helpful, you would love my 7 Day How to Eat Healthy Quickstart email challenge where I send you jammed packed nutrition lessons every day for one week that will help you start to eat right. Simply sign up below !

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