Farmers Market season is taking full swing. Produce is growing nicely and the sun is making its appearance more often to give you that much needed dosage of vitamin D and happiness. These markets provide you with a great alternative to supermarket shopping and their are benefits that go along with it in ways that you may never have thought.
Check out the City of Chicago‘s website for more in depth information on the regulations.
Farming isn’t quite what is used to be. It is no longer the Ma & Pa operations down the road that are supplying the majority of the food. Rather, it is now’large agribusinesses that have swooped up the majority of the market. Not only does buying local benefit the growers, but it benefits you as well’ in more ways than you may realize.
Those benefits can be summed up into the term fresh food, but what does that actually mean you may ask.’To start, statistics show that produce available’in supermarkets may be’shipped from distant states and countries. This means that travel time is an average of 1,300 miles and for as many as 7 to 14 days. Wouldn’t you rather eat produce that is in the height of its ripeness? You’ll be able to taste the difference. When food doesn’t have to be shipped great distances, it cuts down on pollution and fossil fuel usage. Your body and the environment will both benefit from this.
When it comes to hormones, chemicals and pesticides’ the majority of vendors at farmers markets refrain from using those products. They aim for organic, all natural offerings; the way it should be. Eggs come free range and the reason their fields are mainly weed free is from manual labor and tricks of the trade. After all, if you wanted to add chemicals to your food, you could do it yourself.
When farmers markets appear outside, that means that the weather is typically very enjoyable. Rather than spending your time shopping under’fluorescent lights, spend it under the giant bulb outside (otherwise known as the sun) and soak up some vitamin D. Farmers markets are the perfect excuse to get up at a respectable time and spend your day outside. You can’t tell me that the idea of that sounds horrible.
Some farmers markets provide much more than just phenomenal food. Many times you will find live music and family-friendly games. Good luck finding that in a supermarket (unless you are playing tag in the store, that’s pretty entertaining).
One of the neat things about farmers markets is the direct contact you have with the growers. Have questions about the goods? They will have the answers. These people are passionate about what they are doing and their mood is contagious. Smile, say hello and see what happens. Forming a relationship with the people growing your food is never a bad idea.
You are also surrounded by people that are their for the same reason as you. Local, delicious food. Don’t be shy, you never know who you may meet.
If you are feeling a little more timid, bring some friends and soak up the atmosphere together.