With beautiful produce ripe for the picking, shopping at the farmers’ market makes it easier than ever to eat with the seasons while supporting your local community. Sustainable nutrition Expert Kim Denkhaus shares her top 5 reasons on why a visit to your local market is a win-win for you, your community, and the environment!
1. FRESH IS BEST
Did you know that eating seasonally is not only delicious it’s also more nutritious? Farmers’ markets provide access to the freshest seasonal produce, and eating seasonally enhances the flavor profile as well as the antioxidant capacity of fruits and vegetables. Produce is grown with less fertilizer and picked at an optimal peak time in the season, which means fruits and vegetables pack a higher nutritional punch! Be adventurous next time you’re at the market, try something new like the neon green colored Romanesco broccoli, or the exotic red skinned dragon fruit!
2. SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY
Visiting the farmers’ market is not only a way to connect with the local community, it is also a great way to eat healthier and boost your intake of nutritious fruits and vegetables. Consider joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) program, where you’ll receive a box of weekly fresh produce. CSA’s are a great way to gain a better understanding of what it means to eat seasonally, get involved with local farms, and gain access to super fresh and affordable produce.
3. ETHICAL CHOICES
Getting to know thy farmer is especially important for meat and dairy eaters! Shopping at your local farmers’ market helps promote the humane treatment of animals, raised without hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified feed. Look for farmers that utilizes sustainable and certified humane agricultural practices. Strive for free-range and 100% grass-fed, which means the animals were fed only grass (no grain feed which could include anything from corn, soy, or animal byproducts). The New York Times bestselling author Michael Pollan said it best, “you are what you eat eats!”
4. LOCAL AND GREEN
Buying local helps reduce your carbon footprint, by decreasing pollution from transportation & excess trash from packaging. Becoming a “locavore” means you’ll eat food that is produced locally (usually within 100 miles of its point of purchase), eating local helps supports sustainable and eco-conscious farming practices. Don’t forget to bring your own re-usable grocery bags!
Connect with your community in a fun environment and gain a better understanding of where your food comes from. Talk to the local farmers, connecting with the people responsible for growing your food will make each bite taste a little sweeter. Savor a bite from a freshly picked peach, there is a difference, and your taste buds will thank you!
Adapted from the original article.
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Kim Denkhaus, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with her private practice based in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In a modern-day society focused on convenience and fast-paced lifestyles, Kim is on a mission to help people reconnect with food in a sustainable, healthier way that will help them appreciate where their food comes from and empower them to use use whole foods to fuel and nourish their bodies.