Here is a photo of my weekly farmers market purchases.
Why it is important to buy from your local Farmers Market?
1. More fruit and vegetable. You will get excite to buy and eating a lot more fruit and vegetable, since you will be more exposed to them.
2. Fresh produce.The produces are local. It means they were not brought from other countries. Thus they are a lot fresher. They were not ripened by the chemical gasses. They were ripened by the power of the sun.
3. Less Chemicals. Since they do not need to be transported too far, they need less chemicals to ripen them ( Ethylene gas See here) and to maintain them.
4. Less Packaging, Less natural resources, less waste. All the produces you see in my picture produced ZERO waste. The egg cartons are brought back to my egg lady the next week and it makes her very happy. For the rest off the produces, i brought my own bags. You can shop zero waste as well. Just bring your own bags.
5. Less Transportation, less Pollution. The produces in the farmers market were not brought from a different continent, just to be sold to us. Thus very minimal transportation is needed. The less transportation is used, the less Oil or Gas is used. This means less dependency on foreign oil, less pollution in the environment, less maintenance, less refrigeration, less paperwork and less big corporation are involved.
6. More diversity. I leaned a lot more about different vegetable, and my kids are trying all kinds of interesting fruit and vegetable that we have never seen or been exposed to before. Diversity means more types of vitamins and minerals and not getting stuck eating the same old same.
7. Helping our local farmers. It is a pleasure to hand the money directly to the grower of my food. I think about all the hard work they put in growing and taking care of our food and then they have to sell them dirt cheap to the big corporations. The corporations are taking over the food market.
8. Better Nutritional facts. When the produce ripens naturally and is consumed right after harvesting, it has the highest amount of nutrients in it. The conventional produces that are brought from far way, are harvested weeks before they are ripened. This way, they maintain their texture. Then after weeks of refrigeration and transportation, when it is time for them to be sold, they are ripened artificially with Ethylene gas. Less sun means less nutrition.
9. Seasonal. Eating seasonal is just wonderful. The recipes, the smell of the season, the colors are pure pleasure. It is not fun to eat pumpkin in spring. Also, eating seasonal means, they have been produced locally, not on the other earth's hemisphere. The taste, the nutrition and the season's spirit is a lot better. The effect on the environment is a lot less too. It just makes sense.
10. Family quality time. Going to farmer's market is one of our favorite activities. My kids get to choose the fruits. They usually are rewarded by a sweet and nice person, by giving them that extra cucumber, or strawberry. They love it.
11. Making new friends. When i am saying thank you and good by to the nice farmers, we all say" See you next week" . When i didn't get the chance to go there for couple of weeks, they were concerned and asked me where i was. Also I know this wonderful older lady that has back aches and i am looking forward to see her and chat with her. She has the nices smile. It is such a pleasure to know these wonderful people.
12. A happier community. Farmers Market brings happiness to our community. The music, the liveliness, the flowers, the nice person selling Organic herbs, the noises, the smell of freshness, all these just creates a happier place.
13. Fresh and natural out door air. I used to be always cold in the stores. All those artificial lights and refrigerators, make me get the chills. The farmers market is a natural, out door, fresh air experience and is good for all of us.
14. Light exercises. It made me laugh to write this. But the truth is that walking around, carrying bags filled with produce, in the fresh out door air, is a lot healthier that jumping in the car 20 times per week and buying one thing at a time, from a 24 hours Safe Way. This used to the old me. The convenience of having a big grocery store open 24 hours a day very close to our house caused me to not plan anything and just buy when i needed something NOW.
15. Better taste food. Just think about it. A produce that has been in the sun, without any chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides..., loved and cared for till it ripens without any artificial gases. Then sold and cooked the same day, taste better OR the produce that has been brought up in a soil that has no nutrition left and artificial lights, is packed with fertilizers, pesticides... then picked and refrigerated weeks before it is ripened, then it is transported half way acrossed the globe, then it is ripened with Ethylene gas, Then it is seating in the grocery stores for a long time before it make it in your basket. Which one tastes better.
16. Reduce consumerism. When we buy from Farmers Market, we break our dependency to the big corporations. We buy less processed and packaged food that are advertised to us. We buy less junk food and less unnecessary stuff.
17. Access to less expensive organic produce. Since there is no middle men, the organic food can be found less expensive. Also Organic produces need a faster turnaround, otherwise they go bad. They lack the chemical preservatives. So the whole process would be a lot more expensive if the food is brought from far away.
18. No temptation for buying junk food. When we are going to grocery stores, we get exposed to so many unhealthy junk food. It is so hard to keep saying "No" to your kids when they want something they see. But in Farmers Market, whatever they ask for, it is a healthy food.
19. Not processed. Most food get processed and altered, so they look a certain way, or they taste a certain way and the most important part is, the amount of preservatives added to them is huge. In the Farmers market, the food you buy, actually goes bad after a while. This is always a good sign.
20. Learning about the food we eat. It is so wonderful to try the new recipes and new produces we buy in farmers market. We also ask about how the plant grows and how each produce is made. My kids learn so much from the knowledgeable people there.
Have you been to your local Farmer's Market yet?