7 Reasons to Shop at Your Local Farmers Market

McMahon Farmers Market

Is New Jersey the Garden State or what?! Besides better-tasting, environmentally conscious food, there are lots of other reasons to eat local. Here are the top 7 reasons to shop at your local farmers market.

  1. Taste the difference.
    Produce from the farmer’s market almost always tastes better. This is because it is picked at the peak of ripeness and is incredibly fresh when it gets to you. If you start adding farmer’s market produce to your cooking, you’ll be amazed at the difference in flavor and texture. Offerings at the farmer’s market are generally picked when the plants’ natural sugars are at their peak. Eating produce when it is ripe not only tastes better, but it also provides the best nutrition possible. Farmer’s markets offer the freshest food around—usually only hours from the field—so you get top quality, perfectly ripe flavor.
    Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage. This food is as real as it gets—fresh from the farm. Try this. Buy a tomato from the supermarket and a gorgeous heirloom tomato from the farmer’s market. Now taste them side-by-side and see what you think.
  2. Enjoy the Season.
    Some nutritionists and scientists suggest eating seasonally available foods is better for your body, because humans ate seasonal produce for thousands of years before refrigerated shipping changed all that. The food you buy at the farmers market is seasonal. Shopping and cooking from the farmers market helps you to reconnect with the cycles of nature in our region. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer, or bake pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the turning of the year.
  3. Save money.
    Buying from farmers eliminates the cost of the middleman and pricey shipping, so you get more value for your dollar. Grocery stores tend to charge an arm and a leg for organic fruits and vegetables. At the farmer’s market, however, they are typically not much more expensive than conventionally grown produce, and the benefits to your health are likely to save you money on healthcare expenses over the long-term.
  4. Better for the environment.
    Eating locally saves vast amounts of packaging waste and energy required to ship food around the globe. At the farmers market, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets. Along with conserving fossil fuels, small family farms produce less environmental waste in the form of carbon monoxide, pesticide use, and chemical fertilizers. They are also less likely to utilize giant processing and sorting machines that contribute to environmental decay.
  5. Become part of your community.
    The farmer’s market is a great place to gather where you bump into friends and meet local farmers face to face. Coming to the farmers market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. The farmers market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends and bring your children. Visiting is a fun family activity, and you can meet members of your community. Some farmer’s markets even offer entertainment and classes, making it a terrific way to spend an afternoon.
  6. Support local farmers and your local economy.
    Farmer’s market profits help keep small farms alive. Family farmers need your support. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy. Most farmer’s market produce is grown within 100 miles of the market. This means that the farms are a source of local jobs and likely to spend money they make on their produce in the local economy. There’s no doubt local family farms have decreased in numbers over the years. Purchasing fruits and vegetables from farmer’s markets, however, supports local family farms, giving them the valuable capital they need to keep operating and providing consumers an alternative to mass-produced foods.
  7. Boost your nutrition.
    One look at the vivid colors of produce found at the farmer’s market, and you’ll be able to tell just how nutritious the fruits and vegetables are. Tantalizing produce displayed in farmers’ bins and baskets encourages you to eat more fruits and vegetables, so it’s easy to consume the recommended five servings a day. Much food found in grocery stores is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. These practices may have negative effects on human health. In contrast, most food found at the farmers market is minimally processed, and many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties.


Experiencing the colors, smells, and tastes of a farmer’s market is a sensual experience that connects you to the land. At the farmers market you find an amazing array of produce that you don’t see in your average supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, stinging nettles, green garlic, watermelon radishes, quail eggs, maitake mushrooms, and much, much more. It is a wonderful opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.

 

Where to shop?

Here’s List of more Farmers Markets

 

Sources:
https://cuesa.org/
https://www.motherearthliving.com/food-for-health/