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Why Choose Farmers Markets?

Posted By: Leena Mahtani

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Nowadays, we understand more and more the importance of organic and fresh products, which are essential for a healthy life. And where else but at the farmers market can you find these products.

Farmers markets offer fresh produce directly from local farmers, growers, and producers. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and produce sourced directly from local farmers provide many benefits - to the health of your family, community, and your weekly menu. But first, let's answer the question: What is a farmers market, anyway?

What is a farmers market?

Farmers markets are places where farmers can sell their homegrown produce directly to consumers. Typical farmers markets have stalls, booths, tables, or stands where producers can sell their products. They differ from supermarkets' vast, permanent buildings or the aisles of grocery stores.

These marketplaces are also unlike grocery stores or supermarkets in that they sell fresh seasonal produce, and they also don't sell packaged or frozen goods typically found in grocery chains. 

However, what sets farmers markets apart from other retail stores is that they are also a place of community. In addition to selling, this neighborhood market is a place where people can interact with the people who grow their food and other people in the neighborhood.

All in all, farmers markets always focus on fresh and healthy, locally grown food.

11 Reasons Why You Should Shop at a Farmers Market.
There are countless reasons to support farmers markets - from enjoying the freshest produce to meeting the people who grow your food. Here are just a few of them!

1. Taste real flavors.
The fruits and vegetables you buy at a farmers market are the freshest and tastiest available. The fruits can fully ripen in the field and are brought directly to you - no long hauls, no fumigation to simulate the ripening process, no weeks of storage. This food is as real as it gets - fresh from the farm.

2. Enjoy the season.
The foods you buy at the farmers market are seasonal, fresh, and delicious and reflect the most authentic flavors. Shopping and cooking at the farmers market help you reconnect with the cycles of nature in our region. When you look forward to asparagus in the spring, enjoy corn in the summer, or bake pumpkins in the fall, you are reconnecting with the earth, the weather, and the turn of the year.

3. Support family farms.
Small family farms have a hard time competing in the food market. When you buy directly from farmers, they get better value for their products and stand a chance in today's globalized economy.

4. Protect the environment.
Conventional agriculture uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, soil, and air with toxic agricultural by-products. Food at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and is usually grown using methods that minimize its impact on the earth.

5. Feed yourself. 
Many foods in grocery stores are highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some have been irradiated, waxed, or treated with gas during transport, and these practices can have adverse effects on human health. In contrast, most foods at the farmers market are minimally processed. Many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible, using sustainable techniques, harvesting right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties.

6. Discover the spice of life: variety.
At the farmers market, you'll find a fantastic variety of products that you won't find in your average supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, nettles, green garlic, watermelon radishes, quail eggs, maitake mushrooms, and much, much more. It's a beautiful opportunity to enjoy the biodiversity of our planet.

7. Promoting the humane treatment of animals.
At the farmers market, you'll find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals raised without hormones and antibiotics, grazed on green grass and eaten natural feed, and spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions in fattening pens and cages typical of animal agriculture.

8. Enjoy events at farmers markets.
Many farmers markets also offer events where the community can create a stronger bond.

9. Know where your food comes from.
A regular visit to a farmers market is one of the best ways to learn where your food comes from. Meeting and talking with farmers and food artisans is a great way to learn more about how and where food is produced. 

10. Learn cooking tips, recipes, and meal ideas.
Few grocery store cashiers or food vendors will give you tips on preparing the ingredients you buy. Still, farmers, ranchers, and artisans at the farmers market are often passionate cooks and can give you lots of free tips on preparing the food they sell. 

10. Connect with your community.
Wouldn't you rather walk among the stalls of fresh fruits and vegetables on a sunny day than push your cart through a grocery store with artificial lighting and loud music? Visiting the farmers market makes shopping a pleasure, not a chore. The farmers market is a community hub - a place to meet friends, bring your kids, or experience a slice of small-town life amid our wonderful big city.

Conclusion
Shopping at farmers markets has many benefits! The food is healthier and fresher, you can choose from a wider variety of products, they are more affordable, and you are supporting your local farmers. 

 

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