Fruits and vegetables are amazing for you no matter where you buy them. Here are 3 reasons why they are even better for you when you pick them up at your local farmers market.
Once a fruit or vegetable is picked, it immediately starts losing some of its nutrients. That is why you will get the most nutrition from produce when it is eaten soon after it is picked. When we buy produce from the grocery store, that fruit or vegetable was not picked very recently. In reality, when we eat produce from the grocery store, it was probably picked 2-6 weeks before.
By the time produce has been picked, stored, loaded on a truck, traveled across the country, distributed to the grocery store, sat on the shelf at the store and at home, it’s just not quite as nutritious as it started.
While produce from the grocery store is still amazing for our health, we can get even more nutrients from the produce sold at the farmers market. The great thing about the farmers market is that you can actually talk to the farmer growing your food. So feel free to ask the farmer “when was this kale picked?” They will most likely say yesterday or today! How awesome is that?
When we mass produce any type of food, it needs to be thoroughly sanitized. Nowadays, this involves some harsh chemicals that we would never use in our own home. While this protects us from any harmful bacteria, it also removes any beneficial bacteria on the surface of the fruit or vegetable that naturally grows with the plant. This bacteria from the soil enters our gut and builds a healthy microbiome.
At the farmers market, the produce was picked recently and brought to be sold, dirt and all. Don’t let this scare you. Fill up a big bowl of cold water and let your fruit and veggies soak and then give them a good scrub and rinse. You can also ask the farmer about the best ways to wash your produce at home.
Shopping at the farmers market is not only good for our bodies, but for the environment too. The lengthy shipping process of mass-produced fruits and vegetables mentioned above is exactly why the farmers market is a better choice when thinking about the environment. It’s like choosing a hybrid car over a gas-guzzler.
Farmers markets are full of stands that are owned by local farmers, who take a quick drive to sell their produce. Their drive may be 10 or 100 miles, compared to the 3000 miles that most produce has to travel across the country. We know how much of an effect cars and trucks have on air pollution, so the less travel the better.
These farmers are also typically using less harsh chemicals and pesticides on their farms. This is good for you and the health of the soil. So if you would like to support the environment while on your health journey, the farmers market is a great place to start.