You can find farmers markets just about everywhere – in small towns and large cities alike. And if you're lucky to have a farm stand or farmers market near you, don't pass it by. From super fresh produce to locally-sourced honey and from homemade jams to just-cut flowers, there's plenty of goodness available for the picking in most farmers markets. If you take something home, you'll not only be doing something good for your palette, but you'll be doing something good for the planet.
These are just some of the reasons it's worth shopping at a farm stand:
- Fresher food. The shorter the distance from the field to your table, the fresher the food. Produce grown locally is picked at its peak and is available to eat right away. The quicker food is eaten after it's harvested, the more vitamins and minerals it retains.
- Better taste. Your taste buds notice the difference when you eat locally grown produce. Lettuce picked more than a week ago, wrapped in plastic and trucked a thousand miles can't compare in taste to lettuce that was just picked yesterday.
- Fewer preservatives. Fruits and vegetables grown closer to where you live tend to have less preservatives because they don't need to travel long distances. Many local farms also follow organic growing practices.
- Less risk of contamination. Less handling and fewer steps between the grower and the consumer can lower the risk of contamination from foodborne bacteria, viruses and microbes.
- More choices. Local farmers can offer more variety, including heirloom and specialty crops. Looking for a unique tomato or a particular peach? Head to your local farm stand.
- Supports local farmers. When you buy produce from local farmers, about 90 cents of every dollar goes to the farmer. When you shop at large supermarkets, only about 20 cents reaches the farmer. The rest goes to marketing, distribution and corporate expenses.
- Good for the planet. Supporting local farms also helps maintain green space in your community. And since locally-grown food doesn't need to travel far, there's less pollution created and fewer resources used.
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Date Last Reviewed: June 17, 2019
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor