Thrive At Farmers Markets
Evenings and weekends in early May see the resurgence of organic, locally grown produce screaming for attention as farmers markets start popping up all over the place, the common misconception is, the produce available may be limited in variety or too expensive but the reality is these events are a literal classroom when it comes to tasty and healthful nutrition, and when you consider it’s super-fresh, mostly organic and non-GMO, PLUS you’re supporting the local economy through farms and coops in your area it quickly becomes a very easy decision to justify any marginal difference in price from what you may get at your big chain supermarket.
Simple tips to get the most out of your trip to the farmers market:
1. Talk… to strangers, leave your ego (& ear-buds) at home. By chatting with strangers, you’ll learn new and interesting ways to prepare the produce you find.
2. Quiz the stall keepers… They’re more than happy to share information about where the farm is located and how is the food grown, perhaps even to share some inside knowledge about other products they may have available either on another occasion or available through a coop, or other local food store. Make a point of asking if they have ‘season’ packages, these enable you to save money, you could even partner with a neighbor to split the cost.
3. Ditch the list… Eating healthfully normally means a grocery trip with a carefully scripted list so you don’t stray from your dietary goals. With farmers markets however, you won’t know what’s most fresh or even available until you get there. Just have a rough idea of how many meals you’ll need to get through the week and be open to trying something new.
4. Share & Connect… Your local farmers market is a great source of information, both like-minded individuals and the producers themselves. Connecting in person and online allows us to learn more about what’s coming into season, recipe ideas and building on your own nutrition education.
5. BIG THEM UP…! Independent farmers and other small business vendors found at farmers markets don’t have the multibillion-dollar marketing budget that national chains have, they need people to visit and buy from them in order to justify going back week after week. Check in (if that’s an option), share your experience on social media and even brag about a new dish you made from what you got.
Fresh and local is how our ancestors ate, if we all did that today, the instance of health related diseases like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer would start to drop significantly.