Getting groceries for the week can be challenging. At one time I was going to three different stores to find all of the things I needed. Sometimes I still do. Why can’t they all agree to have everything I need at just the time I need it? Grrr.
Ok, I’m fine. Rant over.
The bright spot in my grocery haul each week is definitely going to the local farmers market to check off as much as I can.
I know it can be confusing and you may even think it’s inconvenient. After all, the grocery stores have everything I need technically.
Hear me out on this.
I vote to make the Farmer’s market your first stop when getting groceries and here are my reasons why:
1. Know Your Farmer and Your Food
It’s great to know where your food is coming from. It seems every year there’s a new Netflix documentary or widely publicized article about some type of chemical placed in your food. You never have to worry about that at the market. All of that stress is gone. The person who is selling you your food knows exactly what was done to it and how it will impact your body. It’s kind of like talking to the scientists themselves.
And the part I love the most is that you can become friends with the people who grow or raise your food. Every year we get a pumpkin pie made for us from the farmer who we buy eggs from each week. Heck, he may even be invited to my son’s first birthday party.
Pro tip: Ask your farmer how to make their food… they always have great recipes!
2. Meet a Community of Likeminded People
Let's face it, as we age it becomes harder to make friends. Our lives start going into hyper speed and finding people who share your interest in health don’t find themselves out at the bars at one am like we used to. Here comes the market... a gathering of people who love to be outside, be healthy, and care about where their food comes from.
You’ll find people who range from the passer by who’s a little unsure what to get to the full fledged granola couple who looks like they make their own clothes out of hemp. Ultimately, we’re like the people we surround ourselves with. And having some people who share your interests in health is nice and can even help you on your journey towards pretty healthy. Maybe you can find them at the market.
Get Healthier Meat and Produce
Have you seen the eggs you get from the farmers market? The yolk is practically glowing orange and they have so much more flavor than most store-bought varieties. Numerous studies show how the nutrition value declines the more chickens are cooped up. The stress they feel is transposed into the eggs. I know it sounds crazy, but open up a store brand box and compare it to a farmers market egg and tell me you can’t see the difference? It’s obvious.
This carries into all of the food they have. Food is meant to go bad. It grows and if we don’t eat it, it goes back to the earth as fertilizer. That’s the circle of life for a plant or vegetable. So if we see these vegetables that are staying on the shelf too long, something is making it that way and that’s probably not something you want to ingest. Eating clean starts at the market.
3. It's Inexpensive
Ok, so not everything is cheap, but a lot of things are. You can find some great deals at the market and with a family that loves to eat, I need to find a penny wherever I can get it. Some farmers create deals around too much product or product that may go bad. That’s where the gold is at. Many times we’ll have a basic idea of what we want to eat in the upcoming week, but completely shift our plan if we find a deal at the market.
4. It's Good For the Planet
You’re pretty much reversing climate change. Alright, that may be a little drastic. But at least you’re having a positive impact on it. By shopping at your local farmers market you’re reducing the travel time for your food. When you reduce the travel time for your food it cuts down on the truck emissions.
Also, many farmers at the market don’t have a massive amount of caged animals pumping out their product which also negatively impacts climate change. Animals should be free roaming in the pastures and the farmers who believe that also take care of our earth in much the same way we take care of ourselves. They are at the market.
5. Help Your Kids Learn About Nutrition
We love teaching our baby boy about food and how it can impact his body and how he feels. Bringing him to the market gets him interested in learning about where our food comes from and how it's made. It also helps him get curious about new fruits and vegetables. I can't think of a better way to get our children involved with mealtime than by letting him pick out some things at the market and then turning it into a dish together.
So as you compile your recipe list for the upcoming week, is there something you could probably get from the market? I bet there is and we can’t wait to hear about your experience.