According to a recent study, sales of locally grown food generated a whopping $5 billion dollars in 2008. This only means one thing – more and more people are starting to realize the benefits of eating food produced by their local farmers.
I have been a supporter of locally grown products for years now. Near our place is a local farmers market where I would usually shop once a week. I got this habit from my mom who would take me, as a kid, along with her to shop for our weekly groceries. If you don’t know it yet, eating local is good for you, and not only for your health, but your taste buds, and the environment as well.
For one, local food is always fresher than food that has been transported several thousand miles away from home. I used to think that there’s no difference between a cabbage picked today and a cabbage picked who knows when and sealed in a plastic bag, but there is, and the difference is huge.
Aside from the fact that local food is always fresher and always better tasting, they are also safer to eat. There is very little chance for contamination when there are only a few steps between the source of the food and your table.
Finally, local foods have a much lesser impact to the environment since delivering them requires little or no carbon footprint at all. Enough with the benefits of local foods, let me show you some of things you can do to get the most of what your local farmers market has to offer.
Be an Early Bird. Be sure to arrive shortly after the market opens. This will give you more time to walk the entire market and even have a little discussion with the vendors about their wares before the place becomes too crowded.
Scout the Area. Before pulling out your purse, make sure you fully scope out the area. What I would usually do is walk around before buying anything, take note of the prices, and then go back to get the best deals later on when I’m done comparing the products and their prices.
Don’t Forget to Sample. One of the things I’ve learned through the years is that brining something home only to find out it doesn’t taste right is simply frustrating. To avoid this dilemma, make sure you ask the vendor to give you a sample before you buy. In most farmers markets, you can sample almost anything before making a purchase.
Another reason why I love local farmers’ food is that they make the best ingredients for healthy recipes I prepare for my loved ones. You can find healthy recipes in Foodplus.tv, a website I would recommend to you guys out there who are constantly looking for something fresh and unique to prepare. ‘Til my next post!