Buying local food from your farmer’s market will strengthen the local economy and put zing into your fruits and vegetables.
Food in the US travels on average 1,300 miles from farm to table.
Did you know that “fresh” fruits and vegetables can travel 7-14 days before they arrive at your local supermarket. That beautiful tomato ripened over that 7-14 days; which means it was picked green.
I know that the cheese I buy at the local cheese factory in Wisconsin tastes much better than after it’s been shipped to Florida. It’s a tradition to stop at the local cheese factory and load up with as much cheese as I can carry, hop on the plane, and eat everything the first week back in Florida.
How to define local. There are no specific standards as to what is local food. Locavore, coined by Jessica Prentice in San Francisco, considers food harvested within 100 miles as local.
Eating seasonally is a great way to learn about local farmers. Farmer’s Markets and local pick your own farms will assure that the fruits and veggies you buy are local. Buying local doesn’t guarantee that it’s organic, doesn’t have pesticides or is hormone free.
The Saturday Morning Market in St. Petersburg, FL has several local growers, but not all are organic (which does have standards to meet). You can also buy whole pineapples, but I’m not sure they are local. So, get to know your farmer.
Farmer’s Markets are the traditional way of selling agricultural and home manufactured products. All towns had a town square where the local farmers came to sell their products. Each Farmer’s Market is unique and reflects the area’s charm and local specialties. They can be found world wide where the farmers pick produce at the peak of flavor, save the nutrients, and saves on gas consumption because it doesn’t travel far.
According to the American Farmland Trust, sustainably managed farms conserve soil and clean water and provide a habitat for wildlife.
Food processing uses paper and plastic packaging to keep it from spoiling as it’s transported and stored. Buying locally grown food eliminates most transportation, processing and packaging.
Local farmers live and work on the land and work to reduce their environmental impact .Farmer’s Markets allow farmers to keep 80-90% of the price they get for their produce.
Farmer’s Markets often provide local bakers and cooks to sell their homemade breads, jams, soups and sandwiches. These may be in the form of a food truck or cart. Fast food that tastes great and unique. You won’t find a cheeseburger, but you may find hand made empanadas!
The trend is to eat real food not “fake” food. An energy bar may be organic, dairy and gluten free, buy why eat this when you could have something fresh that was grown in the ground or in a tree, picked and washed, ready to eat. Cooking real food grown locally by farmers who care about the land is the best trend. Shop for real food, not “fake” food.
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