Farmers Markets Offer Fresh Food, Better Health - Ascension Wisconsin

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Published on May 23, 2016

Farmers Markets Offer Fresh Food, Better Health

By Courtney Meidenbauer, RD, Registered Dietitian

Now is the time of year when local produce comes into season, making it easier for all of us to eat more fruits and vegetables, as they will be readily available from local farms.

Farmers Markets throughout the Midwest are a great way for individuals and families to purchase farm-fresh food directly from the farmer. Farmers markets are a healthy way to enjoy your produce this summer for a variety of reasons:

  • Less Distance Traveled. When you purchase produce from the farmers market, you are getting food that is grown locally and thus has traveled less distance. This ensures that the produce has a high nutritional value. The nutrients in the produce are the most readily available for consumption because they were picked at peak ripeness from the field. Other produce that has to be shipped from far away can lose its nutritional value in transport.
  • Breath of Fresh Air. Most local farmers markets are located outdoors. Having the market outdoors encourages shoppers to experience sunshine, fresh air, and exercise from walking around the market. After a long winter of being cooped up inside, time at an outdoor market can be a breath of fresh air!
  • Discover Unusual Produce. A farmers market can also be an opportunity to be exposed to produce that you may never have heard of or tried before. Kale, kohlrabi, or leeks may all be obscure vegetables, but they’re usually found at the farmers market. Ask your farmer how to prepare these items or for recipes they use. Exposing yourself to more fruits and veggies gives you a wider exposure to different vitamins and minerals, which is great for your overall health!
  • Support Your Local Community and Environment. Supporting local farmers markets ensures a healthy community and environment. Fossil fuel use is reduced with less transit time to deliver produce. Also, pesticides are typically used less at smaller farms with more sustainable farming practices. This supports the local community by supporting your local farmers, too.

How to Find Your Local Farmers Market

For information on how to find the farmers market in your community, keep an eye out for local advertising. You can also visit the Local Farmers Market Association website for the times and locations nearest you.

So grab your sunglasses and walking shoes and head on over to your local farmers market!

Farmers Markets Offer Fresh Food, Better Health