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The Farmers Market: A Not So Hidden Treasure

From savoring produce at the peak of freshness to meeting the people who grow your food, there are countless reasons to support farmers markets. Here are just a few!

Taste Real Flavors
The fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmers market are among the freshest and tastiest available. Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you. Long-distance shipping, gassing to simulate the ripening process, and sitting for weeks in storage are avoided. This food is as real as it gets; fresh from the farm.

Enjoy the Season
The food you buy at the farmers market is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the farmers market helps you to reconnect with the cycles of nature in your region. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer, or bake pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the turning of the year.

Support Family Farmers
Family farmers need your support. Small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy. A regular trip to a farmers market is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from and how it is produced.

Nourish Yourself
Many grocery stores contain foods which are highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. These practices may have negative effects on human health. In contrast, most food found at the farmers market is minimally processed. Many farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties.

Engage Children and Grandchildren
Farmers markets are kid-friendly. Let your children or grandchildren pick out something new to try. Then, let them help prepare a meal or snack based on their selection. This both piques their interest and makes eating healthy foods more fun. The farmers market is also a great place to meet up with your friends and your community at large. With the fresh air, sunlight, and great selections surrounding you, coming to the farmers market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. To find a farmers market near you, check the resources below:

www.okgrown.com/markets
www.shapeyourfutureok.com
www.localharvest.org

 


This article was first published in the Winter 2016 edition of the Retiring Right newsletter. Click here to view other newsletters. Not receiving your newsletter, update your address by completing the Change of Address form.

 

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