Summer is just around the corner! You know what that means? Well for those in CA, it means freshly picked cherries, strawberries, peaches, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant and so much more! Visiting your local farmer’s market most certainly does not need to be a summer-only habit. Although the summer weather certainly makes it more inviting! Now is the perfect time to start the habit of frequenting your local farmer’s market to shop for nature’s best produce.
Some might argue that going to the farmer’s market is too inconvenient when added to their regular grocery shopping trips. Maybe the time or day doesn’t work well for you or maybe the one you like is further away. We all have to make choices and prioritize because we can’t do it all, all the time. That being said, I want to make sure you understand some of the glorious benefits of shopping at the farmer’s market! This way you can weigh the pros and cons a little more evenly.
When it comes to eating healthfully, I believe that shopping at the farmer’s market is one of the simplest ways to boost your nutrition and overall wellness. Read on to see why!
Fresh & Local
It’s a pretty safe bet that everything you find at your local farmer’s market is going to be both fresh and local. Why are fresh and local so important? They are directly related to the nutrient content of your produce! The further away that food has to travel to reach you, the less fresh it is. The more time that passes since the food has been picked, the more the nutrients become depleted. This doesn’t even account for the fact that food shipped across the country is usually picked before it is truly ripe, which means its nutrient content is not at its peak.
By buying local, you cut out all of that packing and transit time resulting in significantly fresher produce with significantly higher nutrient stores. This means that you get more of those amazing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other plant benefits into your body just from the food you are eating! Nature’s medicine is waiting for you at the farmer’s market!
It seems like every other time I tell someone about how I eat their response is, “that sounds expensive”. Depending on their receptivity, this sometimes launches me into a whole monologue about how it can actually be less expensive. Not to mention in the long run you end up saving on other health-related costs, but I digress. Well, shopping at the local farmer’s market is one of the tried and truest ways to save money while drastically increasing the quality of your food.
By buying directly from the farmers, you are cutting out all the middlemen! There is usually minimal, if any, packaging on what they sell (don’t forget to bring your own reusable bags!), which accounts for part of the markup you see at the supermarket. More obvious, you are cutting out the significant mass-transport that is often required to provide produce to the supermarket. Usually, the farmer brings it to the market themselves. This results in less cost for you because they didn’t have to travel across the country in a semi-truck.
See #4 It’s Seasonal and #5 Community & Sustainability for more reasons why you will save money shopping at the farmer’s market.
Go “Au Natural”
Most of the farmers you will see at the farmer’s market are small-scale farmers. They aren’t trying to provide produce for an entire city, state, or country. This means that they have the luxury of doing things much more naturally. There is no need for excessive chemicals, steroids, or GMO-strengthened seeds. These farmers are more likely doing things the old-fashioned way and the way that nature intended. And if you aren’t sure, they are right there for you to ask. Engage with the people selling, they most likely had some part in the harvest of the crop and will be able to tell you how it was raised.
Just take a look at the size of the produce, it’s a tad smaller, and tastes so much more flavorful. This is what natural produce looks and tastes like and it’s what our bodies benefit from. All of these extra chemicals and measures that are taken to produce food for mass quantities can also be harmful to our health, even in small quantities. And they usually result in a lower nutrient density in the crop. Why pay more for that?
You are also buying what is in season when you shop at the farmer’s market. A farmer isn’t going to sell you something that they haven’t harvested yet or that was harvested months ago, right? This also directly affects point #2 (saving you money). Nowadays at the supermarket, we have the luxury of purchasing produce grown in other parts of the world so that we can have our apples, oranges, and avocados year round. Well as nice as that is for the recipe that we are shopping for, it isn’t as nice for our wallets or even for our bodies.
We were meant to be in rhythm with Mother Earth. What she provides to us at each time of year in our particular area is actually what we are best suited to eat during that time of year. These foods naturally have the nutrients that our bodies crave during each season. It’s amazing how intuitive our bodies and nature are!
So get out there and enjoy those cherries while they are locally in season! It’s what your body wants right now!
Community & Sustainability
When it comes to good nutrition, the mind and spirit are just as important as the body. Shopping at the local farmer’s market is an excellent choice for mind, body and spirit health! You are getting out in the community and meeting the people who actually helped produce the food that is nourishing your body. Knowing where your food comes from is a key aspect of healthy living. Get to know the local farmers, ask them about their crop, and make sure to give thanks! Ask them about that funky looking vegetable and how to prepare it, they love sharing their knowledge and connecting with you.
By shopping local, you are also supporting your local community and helping to create a more sustainable future. This helps to reduce your carbon footprint while also boosting your own vitality, good things for everyone. In my opinion, this leads us back to point #2 (saving you money) because what you put into your community ultimately comes back around to you. Whether you want to think of it as karma or just good economics, consider it an investment in yourself too 😉
Find Your Local Farmer’s Market
If you are having trouble locating a farmer’s market near you, I highly recommend checking out the site Local Harvest. This site showcases not only farmer’s markets near you, but also local farm stands, local farms, pick-your-own farms, and food co-ops! Check it out, you might find there are more opportunities to eat locally than you realized!
What are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy nature’s harvest, mingle at the market, and give yourself a nutrition boost!
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, I love hearing from you! Spread the Love and share this post with someone!
If you would like help learning how to shop for the most nutrient-dense foods, then Transformational Nutrition Coaching could help!
Book a FREE Discovery Session with me today and let’s work together to create a plan and transform your life!
I have saved a ton of money while eating Real Foods by shopping at Thrive Market! This has been my favorite place to shop for real food pantry staples and non-toxic home and personal products for over 2 years! You can read my review of their service in a previous post. Think Costco + Whole Foods + delivered to your doorstep!
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Disclaimer: The information in this post is not intended as medical advice, or to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. Marcelle encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research, and in partnership with your doctor, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. The information provided in this post and the entire contents of www.marcellephene.com are based upon the opinions of Marcelle Phene and are for general educational purposes, and have not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.