We all know eating healthy is the smart way to go. But do we know where to get the healthiest foods we can? Sadly, so many of our local grocery store fruits and veggies are covered in chemicals. Chemicals do not equal healthy. I love my local farmers markets and farms. Not only am I able to get beautiful fresh produce, but most that I go to are all organic and pesticide free. Buying from your local farmer allows you to support local agriculture. This means that the food you are eating comes from nearby, and does not require us to waste lots of energy and petroleum to ship the food halfway around the world. You are eating food in your own environment, where it has perfectly-created nutrients for your specific climate and region. You are also supporting the environment by reducing the usage of fossil fuels. By shopping at the local farmers market, you will eat seasonally, fresh and ripe. This is another great way to increase your overall health. Supermarkets offer too much variety and the food is picked before it has ripened decreasing the vitality. The body does not need to be eating imported pineapple in the dead of winter.
Many vegetables start to lose their vibrancy and some of their nutrients during storage and transfer. One example is spinach. It loses half of its folic acid content after eight days when stored at 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Fresh produce, in other words, could give you double the nutrients.While I wouldn’t trust just anyone with a stand in a farmers market, the vast majority of produce sold at farmers markets was picked shortly before the market. Crisp, darkest-of-dark greens, bright radishes, sweet strawberries and more are what greet us today. This lovely offering is sure to contain many nutrients. Farmers markets can also be a great place to find pastured chicken eggs, 10 percent grass-fed beef, artisan cheese, and heritage pork. These high-quality products have a higher nutrient content in general (One example: Grass-fed beef contains up to four times the amount of vitamin E when compared to grain-fed cows) and are also better treated.
We have a few different local farms that are “pick your own”. My favorite is the blueberry farm! Blueberries are something that I treat myself with as often as I can. Sadly most of the time, I can only find them frozen at my local grocer. What better way to get them then picked fresh by my own two hands? The other farm we have is a much bigger one. They offer everything from corn, to watermelons, to habanero peppers. I like taking my boys here especially. When they are the ones picking out their own fruits and veggies, they are more likely to want to eat them. A perfect example is eggplant. My son picked out some very beautiful ones. He cannot wait to help me come up with a recipe for them. Famers Markets also may offer things that you may not always find at big name grocers. Ever heard of a Sweet Asian Melon? They are crazy looking but so good.
Shop and eat local. Not only are you helping yourself, but you are helping your community grow.