Friday, March 18, 2011

Top Benefits of Shopping at Farmers Markets

Why Everyone Should Be Shopping at Farmers Markets 
by guest blogger ~ March 18, 2011

This is a Guest post by April Uffner

Many Americans, myself included buy produce at their local supermarket or superstore without really thinking about where that produce came from. After all, fruits and vegetables are healthy for us, we grew up shopping

 at the supermarket, and an apple is an apple, a strawberry is a strawberry,right? Actually, not so much! After taking some time to reasearch this topic, I now understand a lot more about the food that I eat.

Did you know that a lot of supermarket produce is picked before it is ripe, ( sometimes it is artificially ripened later). It is transported from different parts of the country, even the world, which can take up to 2 weeks, and on top of that, it may have been sitting on that shelf a lot longer than you think. This affects its nutrient content, it's freshness, and it's taste. It also has a negative effect on the environment, and our local economies.

If you don't like the sound of that, you can shop your local farmer's market. There are many benefits of shopping at the farmers market. Here are some of the top reasons to shop at farmers markets. You may never want to buy your produce at a superstore again!

Fresh, and locally grown! 
At the farmers market you will be purchacing food that is fresh, ripe, and recently picked, sometimes even that day.

It is healthier!
This produce was allowed to reach its peak of ripeness before being picked. It is is nutrient rich, and fresh, it is better for you than supermarket produce.

Meet the farmers!
This means you can ask questions about the produce, try doing that at a supermarket! You will know how it was grown, when it was picked, etc. You can feel confident about the food that you buy.

More variety
Farmers markets offer produce that supermarkets can't. Farmers can grow whatever they want, they do not have to worry about their produce withstanding long trips, unnatural lighting, or temperature changes like supermarkets do. This means they can grow a wider variety of foods to offer to their customers.

Better taste
Since the food has reached the peak of ripeness, and was recently picked, this produce tastes how nature intended it to taste! Farmers market produce just tastes better!

Support local farmers

When produce is sold at supermarkets, farmers are often getting only about 10% of the profits, when they sell their produce at farm markets, they will get 100% of the profit from that produce.

Put your money into your local economy
The farmers you are supporting often support local businesses, local farms also create jobs in the area. Buying at farm markets helps these farms to stay in business, and our local economies to thrive. I would much rather do that than support major corporations.

Better for the environment
Buying local means the food we buy does not have to travel long distances, polluting the environment, just to get to us.

Farmers markets often have lots of other stands offering fresh, homemade prepared foods, freshly ground coffee, seafood, meats and cheeses, sandwiches, candy, smoothies and many more! There are many unique foods here that you can not find in supermarkets! Farmers markets may also have stands featuring local craftsmen, and fresh flower stands as well. It is a fun way to spend an afternoon with your family, and benefit your community at the same time.

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