Farmers Markets Are Lit and I’ll Tell You Why
At the end of a long week, the last thing that most of us want to do is wake up early on a Saturday morning. And by early I mean before 2:00pm. What? That's just my husband? Everyone doesn't do that? Oh. Well I've found many great reasons to become an early weekend riser, one of which is visiting my local farmer's market. It's the weekly ritual that I look forward to the most (yes, even more so than an extra hour or two of sleep) I always manage to drag my other half along without protest, so I must be on to a good thing, right? Here are six reasons why you may want to opt for checking out your local market this weekend. The bed will be there when you get back. Promise.
The benefits of eating local, in-season produce are bountiful. For one, your fruits and vegetables will be at their nutritional peak. This is because they will not have traveled halfway across the map to sit on the shelves of your favorite chain grocer, allowing their nutrients to fade. Additionally, they will taste better than items that are out of season, and may have been injected with artificial ripening chemicals to prepare them for selling in the supermarket.
This is a no-brainer for me. By selling directly to consumers, farmers are able to be more fairly compensated for the goods that they produce. This is especially important in the age of big box retailers, which are extremely difficult to compete against. Supporting these farmers means that they can afford to continue to deliver quality produce, and that their business may be sustainable enough to pass to a new generation of growers.
With the ever-increasing utilization of technology-based entertainment, it's no shocker that many people do not spend an adequate amount of time outdoors, soaking in valuable vitamin D and fresh air. Spending a relaxing day wandering around the farmer's market gives you a great excuse to get outside, enjoy the sunshine and maybe even reach your step goal for the day (if you're into that type of thing).
Knowing Your Food Source
Being at a farmer's market puts you face to face with your food plug! Want to know how recently those carrots were picked? Have questions about GMOs? What ARE GMOs? Ask! Many sellers are more than happy to answer any questions you have about the food that will eventually nourish your cells. Don’t be shy.
Okay, so this is really just my personal opinion. Feel me? Don't act like you don't enjoy people-watching, because I know you do. I see, and sometimes meet THE coolest people at farmer's markets. They are frequented by people from all walks of life, many of whom are passionate about fueling themselves with the best possible foods. See? You already have something in common. Many farmers markets feature live performers as well as jewelry makers and merchants selling natural, hand-made hair and skin products.
Listen. In my friend-circle food trucks are serious business. I would say it's a religion, but I'm not trying to disrupt my balance within the universe right now. On many a Saturday morning (or early afternoon) depending on your area, you will find your fair share of food trucks lining the streets of your local market. You'd be surprised at how many cater to specific dietary requirements (vegetarian, vegan, paleo, etc.). The food is great, and is more often than not prepared with fresh, local ingredients.
So there it is. These are just six of MY reasons for visiting farmer's markets. I'm quite certain that your visit will yield many great reasons of your own.