Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Why buy from your local farmers market?

People are rediscovering the benefits of buying local food.  It is fresher than anything in the supermarket and that means it is tastier and much more nutritious than modern commercial produce. It is also good for your local economy to buy directly from family farmers, supporting them to stay in business.  Farmers markets are held once or twice a week.  They are easily accessible and cheaper than your usual health food store products, or even those found at a coop.  Local farmers tend to cut out the middleman, allowing for increased financial returns through direct selling, price control, and a regular cash flow rate.  Furthermore, farmer market vendors will provide feedback on produce on the spot, and you can usually negotiate prices since you are buying direct.  They can also be a good source of information and inspiration on how to cook and prepare using the fresh ingredients. 

 From and environmental approach, farmers markets help reduce the amount of “food miles,” which are travel miles associated with the transportation of produce and is one reason for additive placement in commercial products for sustainment purposes, thus reducing vehicle pollution, noise, and fossil fuel use as well.  Another major cost associated with commercial products that be cut out by local farmers is the cost of packaging, as local venders and markets suffice.

There are ways to eat from conventional farming foods and eliminate some of the pesticides from the produce.  One thing I have learned is that some vegetables are grown with minimum pesticides like mushrooms, onions, and cabbage for example.  Fruits like grapefruit and kiwis also require fewer pesticides, so you can save some money on those products.  However, when eating conventional foods, be certain to peel away edible skins and outer leaves as pesticides are often concentrated there. Remember to wash all produce (conventional and organic) thoroughly with a natural fruit and vegetable cleanser, or filtered water at minimum. Peeling and washing can help reduce pesticide exposure, but also results in the loss of valuable vitamins and nutrients. When you have the choice between an organic item and one that is conventionally grown, choose organic as much as possible.  Also, if you are in a budget and you can only afford to buy some organic products, invest in meat rather than produce as the conventional farming for meats have far more pesticides and hormones in them than fruits and vegetables.  It is highly recommended that when speculation is present of organic foods, to gradually embark upon investing in organic foods and do research in price comparison.  Once satisfaction has been achieved, I am sure you will find a comical way to fully or partially go organic.   

I can not wait for the opening of Farmers Markets this May!   For a list of farmers markets and opening dates in the Colorado Springs area click HERE!
Do you buy from Farmers Markets?  Can you provide a list of Farmers Markets in your area? Leave them below!

References
Full Circle Farms (2011), Our farm.   Retrieved from
Rodale Institute (2011).  Organic cheat sheet.   Retrieved from
http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/20100825_why-organic
The Organic Center, (2011), Organic 101.  Retrieved from
Underwriters Laboratories, (2011). 10 easy ways to go green.  Retrieved from   http://www.safetyathome.com/environmental-safety/10-easy-ways-to-go-green/
 

5 comments:

  1. Love our local farmers market. The produce always looks so different from the processed stuff on the shelves in the stores plus you are supporting locals so a win win.

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  2. Such a great post, right after my own heart! I can't wait to hit up my local farmer's market this year. I have many buddies there that I haven't gotten to see in these dreary winter months. I'm especially looking forward to the guy who sold me his last pint of strawberries when I was pregnant, his wife was about as far along as I was with their second baby so it will be interesting to catch up!

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  3. I love the farmer's market. It is my favorite Saturday ritual.

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  4. I love farmers markets, I live in a rural area so I am lucky to have a bunch of small farmers market that stay open all year long!

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  5. I have a farmer's market in my town that's open every Saturday! The last time I went there weren't many fruits or vegetables, but there was a lot of honey and spices, and homemade baked goods.

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