There are just so many reasons to shop at a farmer’s market, it’s hard to put them all into one list. I’ve done my best to scale it down to a list of 10!
- Farm fresh foods: Unlike fruits and veggies in the supermarket, you know that the produce at the farmer’s market is fresh picked – likely within 24 hours!
- Organic and non-GMO foods: Farmers’ markets feature the finest of locally grown, fresh, non-GMO, organic produce and meats which is better for the soil, the environment, and your body!
- Seasonal foods: Seasonal eating is believed by many scientists and nutritionists to be much better for your body, because the human body is meant to eat foods in season, near where they live as have our ancestors. Also - eating produce in season only makes sense with lighter fruits and vegetables available in the spring and summer, and heartier winter vegetables like squash and parsnips providing sustenance for the cooler fall and winter months.
- Ripeness: Farmer’s market produce is generally picked at the height of ripeness when the plants’ natural sugars are at their peak – making the food not only taste better, but it also providing the best nutrition possible.
- Affordability: Farmer’s market produce is an excellent value for the nutrition. Supermarkets generally charge a premium for organic fruits and vegetables however at the farmer’s market, they are typically not much more expensive than conventionally grown produce.
- Variety: Unlike larger, more industrial farms that supply large supermarket chains, smaller, local farms tend to offer a larger array of produce. Remember what they taught us in school – eat the rainbow!
- Support for local economy: Most vendors at a farmer’s market are local and grow their produce within 100 miles of it. This means that the farms are a source of local jobs and likely to spend money they make on their produce in the local economy.
- Fuel economy: Most supermarkets receive their produce from hundreds or thousands of miles away which involves significant use of fossil fuels for shipping on refrigerated trucks and rail cars. Farmer’s market produce doesn’t have far to get from the farm to your table which can quite significantly reduce the use of fossil fuels. Since they typically operate in the outdoors thus not requiring electricity or heating, this also lowers the environmental impact. Everyone is talking about reducing their carbon footprint these days – heading to a local farmer’s market is a great way to do just that!
- Social: Did you know the famous Canadian children’s singer, Raffi frequents his local farmers market in BC? It's true – if you follow him on Twitter he often writes about his days spent there. The farmers market is a wonderful way to meet people and engage with neighbors and friends – you just never know who’ll you might run into!
- Promotes Fitness: Not only is the farmer’s market an excellent way to engage with and meet new people, but it’s a wonderful way to get moving! Strolling through the market is a great way to add steps into your day! At Callingwood Farmers’ Market, they even have a free fitness program running every Wednesday at 1pm with classes including Zumba and Circuit Bootcamp for all ages and levels. Visit their website for a full list of classes.
Laura Barr is the owner of BloomWellness. She is a Registered Massage Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer, Holistic Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist. Her clinic is based in Leduc, and serves clients from Edmonton, Beaumont, Leduc and Nisku. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, animal lover and most importantly, she is a busy mom to her energetic 6 year old daughter! Visit her blog.