Notable for its white canopies, wooden tables, jeans, plaid shirts and wicker baskets full of fruits and vegetables, that little under-the-tent setup off the side of the road is usually where local farmers and foods vendors enjoy selling their goods, often just fresh off the farm. Supporting your local farmers markets has numerous benefits – from nutritional content to peace of mind, you can be sure to feel rejuvenated after purchasing and devouring the wholesome foods of farmers markets.
Here is HFR’s top 10 farmers markets health benefits for all your purchasing needs:
- Taste real flavors – The fruits and vegetables available at farmers markets are among the freshest and tastiest produce available. Farmers who sell strictly local, and therefore do limited long distance travelling, add little to no additives or preservatives to their produce. As a result, the food is as fresh as possible.
- Enjoy the current season – While it may seem ideal to be able to purchase your produce year-round, when produce is grown and sold out of season, it is usually grown unnaturally. In fact, many chemicals may be added to promote its growth and possibly detracting from its nutritional content. Farmer’s markets will usually offer fruits and vegetables that are currently in-season, and by extension, as close to natural as can be. By eating seasonal produce you will reconnect with the cycle of nature, the weather, and change of seasons.
- Supports local farmers – Small farms are not as popular as they once were. Because large agribusinesses dominate food production, local farmers are often in need of our support. Frequenting local farmers markets will directly impact their business and give them much deserved support.
- Protects the environment – Foods grown on small farms are usually produced by methods that do not have a substantial negative effect on the earth. In addition, farmer’s market produce is transported in much shorter distances, so we are able to cut down on the pollution that we would have from longer transportation times. We can also effectively cut down on trash and other waste products by avoiding extra packaging from large production companies.
- All-natural – Most grocery store foods are highly processed. Even the produce can contain large amounts of hormones and pesticides, or even be genetically modified. Fruit is waxed to give the ‘shiny’ appearance that attracts consumers. Most food at a farmer’s market will not contain any added chemicals and are grown using the most naturally sustainable techniques.
- Happy animals – Many people choose a vegetarian, or even a vegan lifestyle simply because of the inhumane treatment of animals. Large food production companies are known for having unsanitary and unacceptable living conditions of their animals. Many farmers provide animal products that have been raised without hormones and other harmful chemicals. Farm animals are allowed to live naturally, graze, and eat their natural diets which provides a much more nutritious product.
- Wide variety –The farmer’s market is home to many unique foods that cannot be found in your typical grocery store. At the market, you are provided with a much wider selection of produce and other farm raised products, which will open the door for a lot more fun in the kitchen. The expansive choices of foods at the farmer’s market will definitely liven up your pantry and provide food options you never thought possible.
- Confidence in your food sources – Have questions about a certain product? Oftentimes, farmers themselves are available at the farmers market and are directly available to answer all of your questions on your food purchases. You can find out exactly where their farm is located, their growing methods, and what other foods his or her farm offer. This can give you the peace of mind of knowing exactly what you are consuming and how it has been prepared.
- Learn tips and recipes – Farmers are generally very helpful with providing free advice on the best ways to enjoy their products. By shopping at a farmers market, you can learn a lot about food preparation and take home plenty of new and exciting recipes.
- Enjoy the Outdoors – Attending an outdoors farmers market can make grocery shopping a much more enjoyable experience. Strolling around an outdoor market can be a great stress reliever and wonderful way to get away from the big city hustle and bustle.
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