Monday, April 13, 2015

Why Shop at a Farmer's Market?

At Natural Healing Tools we are getting excited for spring - and the return of full Farmer's Markets! Saturday morning is an early trek to the market! Striving to eat healthier, more information is best - here's the 10 Ten Reasons to Shop a Farmer's Market but also read Food Safety at the Farmer's Market

(  Why shop at a farmers market? Watch this video to learn about the benefits of buying
fresh, nutritious, delicious and locally grown foods. Hear a registered dietitian talk with shoppers and farmers. Then go visit your local farmers market for the freshest food in season!

Top 10 Reasons to Shop at a Farmers Market

1. Freshly picked, in season produce is at its peak in flavor and nutrition. Check out the Seasonal Produce Guide to learn what fruits and vegetables are in season.

2. Support your local farmers and economy. You can help new and smaller farmers be successful and save farmland in your area. The Economic Research Service provides an overview of the economic impact of local food systems.

3. Fresh fruit and vegetables are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients. What are these? Why do we need them? More information at What’s in Food.

4. It's a great way to get your kids involved. Let them pick out something new to try, then they can help prepare a meal or snack using these tips and recipes at Kids in the Kitchen.

5. Supporting your local farmers market strengthens your community. Meet your local farmers, learn about foods grown in your area and catch up with friends and neighbors while stocking up with local goods. Learn how farmers markets impact your community in this section of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass.

6. Farmers markets offer foods that align with MyPlate guidelines. Buy foods and see how they fit with ChooseMyPlate. Visit different booths to pick up seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as local dairy, grain and protein products so you can build your healthy plate.

7. Farmers often have recommendations for preparing their products. Visit Fruits and Veggies More Matters (link is external) to see recipes that use fresh fruits and vegetables.

8. You can try a new fruit or vegetable! Have you ever tasted gooseberries or rhubarb? Many farmers markets offer lesser known fruits and vegetables, providing a variety that can be both tasty and nutritious. Learn how to select and store rare and common fruits and vegetables with the Fruit Nutrition Database (link is external) and Vegetable Nutrition Database (link is external).

9. SNAP and WIC benefits are accepted at some farmers markets. Learn About SNAP Benefits at Farmers Markets and find out which WIC state agencies participate in the Farmers Market Nutrition Program.

10. Farmers markets are easy to find. Use the USDA Farmers Markets Search to find one near you. Due to their flexible locations, some community farmers markets provide fresh, healthy foods when other sources aren't as easily accessed. Learn more about how the USDA helps to expand healthy food access through the development of local food systems.