The first week of August is National Farmers Markets Week! At Private Home Care, we love farmers markets for a variety of reasons!
Fresher = healthier. We all know that eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, veggies, and lean meats is important for your well being. Studies have shown that when foods are their freshest, which they are at farmers markets, they are healthiest for you! At grocery stores, fruits and vegetables have to be harvested sometimes well before their prime, and do not get a chance to develop quite as many yummy nutrients. Although the produce is fresh, it likely has been days or weeks since leaving the earth, and it is not as deliciously fresh as produce from a farmers market, which is grown locally and goes straight from farm to consumer.
Local = Healthier. Farmers markets feature in-season offerings, which means that crops picked at their peak of ripeness are also better tasting and full of flavor. Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients when allowed to ripen naturally on their parent plant, meaning that they are more nutritionally dense and you gain the full benefit of eating the fruits and veggies.
Foods eaten in season are just tastier! When produce is in season and ripe, you are likely to incorporate more into your food. Also, even the pickiest eaters will be more open to fruits and veggies in season because they simply taste better!
The farm is where it’s at – When you buy directly from farmers, you have the opportunity to ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about your food! They also have great tips for recipes – at a recent farmers market, a farmer shared that you can add golden raisins and pine nuts when cooking swiss chard. We tried it, and it was delicious!
Pesticides and ripening agents? No thank you. When foods are grown out of season, they aren’t able to follow their natural growing and ripening rhythms. In order for certain fruits and vegetables to be available year-round, post-harvest treatments, known as ripening agents, are used. These include chemicals, gases, and heat processes. Some produce is also coated with an edible film to protect it.
Keeps your community beautiful! Purchasing locally grown foods helps support local farms and maintains farmland and open space in your community. Living in a beautiful environment is good for your health, as it is relaxing and promotes environmental wellness. Also, local food supports the local economy. The money you spend on products from local farmers and growers stays in the community and is reinvested with other local businesses, which helps maintain a lovely community.
Don’t forget – farmers markets are fun! They are lively and feature many different vendors. It is a fun opportunity to socialize and chat with the vendors and other shoppers in your community. Often there is live music, cooking demonstrations, and community events!
See you at the market!