Now is your chance, help the environment and your body!

farmers-market1This time of the year is an exciting time for local farmers markets. Much of the produce planted in the spring is being harvested and brought to local markets in your area. Fall is in the air, pumpkins, apples, peaches, hayrides, and Starbucks Pumpkin spice latte-don’t fall prey to this one….:-)

Shopping at local farmers markets has so many benefits and is great for the environment! Where I live, in Orange County, California, we have organic farms dispersed throughout the region. All farmers must grow strictly organic because of the close proximity to people. The chemicals used on conventional farms is very harmful to people. I love Orange County for being conscious of our health!

Have you ever gone to the grocery store to buy peaches and they are hard as a rock? It takes 5 days for them to ripen and you’re starving by then. And when you do eat it, the flavor is between bland and flavorless?

Making the choice to shop locally reduces the carbon footprint on the environment, isn’t that important?

Here’s the problem: produce is now grown in distant locations half-way around the world like Chile, New Zealand, and China. In order to ship produce long distances, the produce is picked early while it is still hard as a rock so it will transport without being destroyed. Produce in the supermarkets are typically 14 days old by the time you purchase it and has traveled an average of 1,500 miles.

What’s wrong with that, you might ask? Produce needs to stay on the vine or the tree until ripe or close to it to obtain it’s full nutrient value so the fruits and veggies can nourish your body.

Remember: high nutrient foods in your body = high energy, less cravings, beautiful skin and lean body.

farmers_market2

At a local farmers market, local farmers usually get up at the crack of dawn, pick the freshest produce and bring it to market the same day. If not picked that day usually in the last couple of days. I can actually taste the freshness and richness of the just-picked produce. It’s amazing!

Support your local farmers! I always cheer for the underdog and those who are out to do good deeds. Small farmers are more conscious of taking care of the land and the environment.

Large agricultural farms strip the soil of vital nutrients, use harsh chemicals, large machinery which is polluting the air, and they don’t replace the minerals needed to produce nutrient rich fruits and veggies.

Small farms take better care of the soil by using friendly farming techniques and replenishing the soils with vital minerals. We’ll save the discussion on organic vs. conventional farming for a later post.

But, just so you know, I recommend buying organic when ever possible. I know it’s not always possible, so do your best.

Buying locally means saving thousands of pounds of CO2 from being emitted into the air, eating healthier nutritionally dense foods, supporting the local economy, and enjoying the foods that are in season.

A couple things to remember when shopping at farmers markets:

  • Ask if their produce is organic, not all farmers’ adhere to this standard.
  • Some produce stands are resellers just like the large grocery store chains, so ask the market coordinator to clarify for you which ones are family-owned and which ones are conventional resellers. Get to know your community it’s fun!
  • Bring recyclable bags, it’s also en vogue. Cloth bags hold more produce. I have a stash in my car at all times.

Below are some links to help you find a farmers market near you. Or do a Google search for your local area. There could be one right around the corner from you!

http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/

http://www.farmersmarketscanada.ca/

http://www.cafarmersmarkets.com/

Pssssst BARGAIN TIP: If you go to the farmers market towards closing time, some farmers will sell you more produce for cheap because they need to get rid of it. So don’t be afraid to bargain!

Have an adventure,easyveggiemealsebook

Kardena Pauza

author, Easy Veggie Meal Plans

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