national farmers market week
Shopping at local farmers markets is a great way to support local farmers and get familiar with where your food is grown. Locally grown produce may be fresher, more nutritious, and more affordable.
August 6-12 is National Farmers Market Week, so now is a great time to explore a local market near you!
Farmers markets are markets where local farmers sell goods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, breads, and baked goods. These goods are often brought directly from their farms, which means you’re getting the freshest items of the harvest.
Here are some of the benefits of shopping at your local farmers market:
When you shop at your local market, you are getting produce that is fresh and in-season. Seasonal produce is what’s able to be grown right now in your local area based on the current weather foods. Not all foods grow at all times of the year. Produce at the grocery store may be imported from all around the world when particular foods are out of season in your local area. While this is great to provide variety in the diet throughout the year, importing produce can have a large ecological footprint, and produce may get picked before it’s ripe to survive the journey to the produce bin. What you’ll find at your local market will be foods that were grown locally, meaning they will be in season. Plus, the journey from farm to table is much shorter when buying directly from the farmer, meaning you’ll be buying produce at peak freshness!
Not only will locally grown produce be in season, but it may also have a higher nutrient content than store-bought produce. Studies show that produce can lose nutrients the longer it sits before consumption. Additionally, produce can have higher nutrient content when allowed to fully ripen before harvesting. Local farmers are able to pick produce at peak ripeness only a matter of days or hours before you buy it, so the produce you buy from the market will have higher nutrient content than produce from the supermarket that was picked weeks ago. You might even find heirloom or unique varieties of some produce at your market, which offer different nutrients than the standard varieties you’ll find at the grocery store.
Shopping at the farmers market could save you money. Seasonal produce tends to be lower in price compared to out-of-season produce. Since all the produce you’ll find at the market will be seasonal, there’s a chance you’ll find some good savings! You might even be able to buy misshapen or “ugly” foods at a lower price. These foods are just as nutritious and tasty! Going to the market later in the day might afford you some opportunities to bargain with the farmers who are trying to sell items before the end of the day. Farmers markets may also accept SNAP/EBT benefits. SNAP/EBT users in Florida could earn $1 in Fresh Access Bucks for every $1 spent on fresh fruits and vegetables with SNAP/EBT at participating markets! Click below to learn more about Fresh Access Bucks.
When you shop at the local farmers market, you will likely find more than just produce. You might find fresh baked bread or cookies, locally grown honey, farm fresh eggs, specialty tea blends, fresh cut flowers, handmade soaps, and more! There are so many amazing and unique things to explore at the farmers market.
Now that you know all the benefits farmers markets have to offer, it’s time to get to your local market in celebration of National Farmers Market Week!
If you want to support local farmers in Florida but can’t make it to the farmers market, look for produce that is labeled “Fresh from Florida”! This sticker will indicate items that were grown locally right here in the sunshine state. This produce will be fresh, in season, and you’ll likely find them on sale at the grocery store! Purchasing “Fresh from Florida” is another great way to support local farmers and eat nutritious local produce.
Shopping at the farmers market is an excellent way to support local farmers, purchase fresh, seasonal produce, save some money, and find all kinds of specialty and artisan goodies! Farmers markets bring so much value to the community, and National Farmers Market Week is an amazing way to celebrate all that these markets have to offer!
– Anita Diaz, Dietetic Intern
National Avocado Day is celebrated on July 31. What a day to celebrate! The history of avocados is quite interesting. While we usually think of avocados coming from Mexico, scientists believe they had origins in Africa before traveling to North America and eventually making their way to Central America. Learn about the history of avocados and their great nutritional value with our previous edition of Food for Thought!
It’s not about dieting or counting calories but rather building a healthier relationship with food. Schedule your appointment today with our onsite nutritionist!