Do you find your weekly trip to the supermarket a chore? Are you bored of eating the same foods over and over again? Is finding healthy and fresh produce a challenge for you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to explore your local farmers market. No matter where you live, it’s guaranteed your local farmers market will have an interesting and fresh variety of produce, meats, and lots of other things you need to try, from prepared foods to artisanal products. Here are seven reasons why you should shop at your local farmers market. If you are not sure where the nearest one is, check out the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory.
1. Farmers markets only sell fresh foods
Go into any supermarket and you really have no idea how long those zucchinis or carrots have been sitting there. And don’t bother asking a store employee because it’s highly unlikely they actually know the correct answer. On the other hand, what you find at a farmers market is about as fresh as it comes. From handpicked eggs, to fish caught yesterday, and tomatoes cut off the vine just hours ago, there is no better source for a variety of fresh foods.
2. Farmers markets make you a better chef
Truly fresh food tastes better, so no matter what your cooking skills are, they will automatically be raised a few points when you cook with the freshest ingredients available. Plus, if you are unsure of the best way to cook something, farmers will give you great ideas on how to prepare the foods they sell. Their information is often more reliable than anything you can find online.
3. You’ll find things you won’t find at the local supermarket
From artisanal honey, extra-virgin olive oil and pomegranate vinegar, to homemade hummus, hand-baked bread and gourmet cheese, there are just so many interesting and unique foods sold at farmers markets. And unlike shopping at the supermarket, the farmers and vendors are often more than happy to give you a taste.
4. It’s eco-friendly
Farmers markets sell only local foods. Local food is more eco-friendly because it requires less energy to transport — most of the produce is also organic. It’s important to know that just because something isn’t labeled organic, doesn’t mean it isn’t. Know the lingo. Organic food can sometimes be referred to as no-spray or pesticide-free. Farmers often can’t label their foods as organic because the USDA hasn’t given them certification. If you aren’t sure if something is organic, simply ask.
5. Farmers markets have the best seasonal produce
No matter where you live, any out of season produce you buy at your regular supermarket isn’t local and probably isn’t fresh. A better approach to eating is to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. Plus, it’s a great way to explore things you may not have tried before.
6. If something tastes good, you are more likely to eat it
Your mom always told you to eat your veggies and she was right. Let’s break it down. Farmers markets sell fresh vegetables. Fresh veggies taste better. If something tastes better, you are more likely to eat it. So, shop at your farmers market to get all of your nutrition.
7. It’s not just about the food
Many farmers markets sell way more than food. From handcrafted jewelry, to cards and candles, you can often find a variety of wonderful items sold at fair prices. It’s the perfect place to find a unique or even one-of-a-kind gift.