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Who’s your farmer?

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Where can you go to find nourishing, fresh foods that are easy on your wallet?

 

If you’re already buying fresh, whole foods at your local grocery store, that’s a great start. High-five!

But as we’ve seen, many of the fresh foods we love travel a long, long way to get to us.

Sometimes that can’t be helped. After all, unless you live in western Africa or South America, you probably don’t have coffee or cacao growing in your backyard.

Other times, though, we do have fresh, local foods available. Let us introduce you to one of our favorite hangouts: The farmers’ market.

Why shop at a farmers’ market? Why buy seasonally? Why buy locally?

Lots of reasons.

 

It’s often cheaper

The cost of food is on everyone’s mind these days. Yet compared to the rest of the world, North Americans actually spend the least on their food. In part, this is because we don’t always prioritize buying good foods.

 

Luckily, when you buy in season, you can often get great foods for dirt cheap. (See what we did there?)

 

The quality is better

Remember our tomato story from Monday? Ever wonder why tomatoes in the supermarket in winter look and taste like pink softballs?

It’s because they are genetically modified to be tough enough for mechanical picking. In other words, they’re picked unripe, shipped thousands of miles, then artificially ripened using ethylene gas. Blech!

Now imagine picking a plump red tomato off the vine in late summer — it’ll be juicy, sweet and delicious and bursting with valuable nutrients.

 

You support small family farmers

Most farms in North America and in India are small farms.

Most farmers make way less income as compared to most of us in a year.

Think about it: The folks who keep you fed can barely put food on their own tables.

So why not support your local economy and family farms in your communities with your food dollars/Rupees?

Buying fresh, local food helps you get and stay lean and healthy by eating nutritiously.

It helps you get high quality, tasty foods.

And it helps your local community and economy.

Everyone wins!

 

Start foraging

Today your mission is to find a farmers’ market.

Visit that farmers’ market and purchase all the food you need for one day’s worth of eating. Get fruits, veggies, lean meats, grains, eggs, or whatever fits into your plan.

 

Just make sure the entire day’s menu is purchased at the market. And do your best to make sure it’s all locally grown stuff.

That’s right, no mangoes unless you live in Hawaii.

So, where the heck are you going to find farmers’ markets? Well, behold the magic of the web.

How do you know it’s grown locally? Easy! Just ask the farmer at the market where the food comes from.

You’ll get to know the folks who bring you your food, and, if you’re nice, they may slip ya some free beets or a few fresh free-range eggs.

If the weather’s still cold where you live, you’re not off the hook. You can also:

 

  • Look for an indoor market in your area.
  • Wait for market season to start.
  • Use the links to locate farms or other stores in your area that sell foods directly from local suppliers.
  • Ask your grocery store manager to start stocking more local foods.

 

Don’t worry if you can’t do this assignment right away. Just be sure that sometime over the next few months, you find a market or store, buy a day’s worth of foods, and enjoy a whole day of local meals.

What to do today

Find a farmers market or market that supplies local food.

Buy a day’s worth of food.

Purchase all the food you need for one day’s worth of eating. Choose the foods you like and that fit into your plan.

Just make sure the entire day’s menu is purchased at the market and made up of locally grown foods.

 

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