In Keeping with the Balanced Bliss Good health Habit for July, Improving the Quality of your food, Visit a Farmer's Market this week. Here are some important reasons why.
Food travels an average of 1500 miles to reach your local grocery store. Farmer's markets are all local produce. This saves the planet in terms of carbon emissions from fuel used to transport the food.
Conventional (Big farms) use less earth-friendly farming methods which also pollute air and water. Farmers markets generally consist of smaller local farms.
Fresh produce lasts longer and tastes better. You will waste a lot less food from the farmer's market. You eliminate the expenses of the grocery store profit and overhead as well as transportation and distribution, more of your money goes to pay for the actual food. You're also keeping money in your local community and supporting a local business, and all of this is good for the local economy.
On average the produce in the grocery store could be up to 14 months old. Apples are frequently up to a year old. In fact I went nearly my whole life thinking I hated strawberries. One day while strawberry picking, my adorable 4 year old said, "Mommy This is the biggest, reddest, juiciest strawberry in the WHOLE strawberry patch and I picked it just for you because I LOVE YOU SO MUCH" Of course my first thought was "I have to eat a strawberry and pretend I love it" Much to my pleasure, I found I do like strawberries, just not when they are 14 months old. I'd never actually had a fresh strawberry in my life. The Strawberries at the farmer's market, those were picked this morning.
Grocery food is often waxed, gassed or irradiated in transit to keep it appearing fresh. It's often genetically modified and also sprayed with herbicide and pesticides. The farmers at the farmers market rarely use GMO seeds, and if you're not sure, you can just ask them.
The Farmers Market is a great place to get foods you've never tried or that you haven't liked in the past. Since they are so fresh and minimally processed, you just might find a new healthy food appealing that you never did before.
The Animals at the small local farms that make up the farmer's markets are generally given more room to run around. They are allowed access to pasture, fed better quality food, and are far less likely to be raised on hormones, steroids, and antibiotics.
Eggs are also fresher, on average grocery store eggs are a month old when they arrive on the shelf, Farmer's market eggs were gathered over the past 1-2 days.
You also get to avoid the deceptive packaging that often comes with grocery store foods. You can ask how the animal was raised. You can ask what "vegetarian fed" actually means on that farm. You can ask if the grass fed cow was actually 100% grass fed birth to market or if it was finished on grains.