From Farm To Table – Great reasons for Shopping the Farmer’s Market
The ‘buy local, eat local’ craze is sweeping the nation. Eating local is a great idea, but where do you start? What benefits does it give to you and your local community? These are all great questions and, surprisingly, the answers are fairly straight forward.
What on earth is a locavore. This is a new term for me. Think herbivore (plant eating animals), carnivore (meat eating animals) or even omnivore (animals who don’t really care as long as it is edible.) Now we have locavore which means those people who consume locally grown food and use locally produced products, or at least try to remain within a certain radius from home. Basically, if it’s on a truck for hours or days to get from the farm to your table, it doesn’t qualify as local.
What are the benefits to your health when you shop locally? One of the most commonly stated health benefits is that food that is grown near you is believed to help your body fight off allergens. For instance, eating locally made honey will help you during allergy season because the same pollen that your body is trying to ward off is what the bees used to make the honey. Therefore, by eating the honey, you are helping your body develop antibodies that will help fight off the allergens.
Not only will your body thank you for eating local, but you’re also helping the local economy. Your dollar is working to influence your community.
Have you ever tasted a ripe cantaloupe that was picked off the vine just a few hours earlier? How about a big tomato fresh off the plant in the garden? When a fruit or vegetable is picked when it is ripe rather than hoping that it ripens on the truck, you get a better taste. Produce was designed to ripen a certain way, usually on the vine or tree or in the ground. When we prematurely pluck it to get it shipped across country, we seriously defeat the ways of nature. The result? Food that doesn’t taste the way nature intended.
It is amazing how much of a fruit or vegetable’s nutrients develop during the ripening stage while still attached to the plant. During that stage, the soil pours in vitamins and minerals that are essential in order to ripen the produce; the very same nutrients that are essential to your health.
Give it a try…look up Farmer’s Markets in your area and stop in for a visit!