The Fresh Scoop on the Farmer’s MarketMay 28, 2015
Take a Trip to the Farmer’s Market
We all know ‘locally grown’ is the latest buzz word in the food industry. To eat locally, it generally means reducing the distance between the production and consumption of our food. Did you know a ‘locavore’ eats only food produced within 100 miles of their area? A 2008 Farm Act defined ‘locally or regionally produced’ to a 400 mile distance. Unfortunately, most of our food travels hundreds and thousands of miles from where it’s grown to get to our dinner plate. Although this allows us a wide variety during the less bountiful months, it is wasteful of resources to transport food when we can save by eating local. It also helps our local economy by supporting the hardworking farmers in your backyard.
Often times food has to travel through many temperatures in order to get to the store you buy it at. We can usually guarantee that the product you are getting at the Farmer’s Market was at the farm the same day or day before. Picking the produce at it’s optimal freshness will help improve the nutrient quality of the fruit or veggie!
Not only is the color and taste of produce better when purchased in season, but it also can improve the nutrient value when grown in properly nourished soil and with adequate sunlight and water. Don’t be afraid to freeze things you have purchased as well as getting creative with trying new varieties of fruits and vegetables.
Be sure not to miss these ones each month this summer!
May: Asparagus, Lettuce, Peas, Radishes, Sprouts
June: Beets, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Green Beans, Kale, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Strawberries
July: Artichokes, Basil, Bell Peppers, Cherries, Cucumbers, Garlic, Peaches, Nectarines, Plums, Raspberries
August: Carrots, Corn, Melons, Onions, Rhubarb
September: Apples, Leeks, Pears, Pumpkins, Winter Squash, Sweet Potatoes
Summer farmer’s markets also are a great way to save money as they tend to be a better deal than in-store purchases. Think about joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) if you are interested in having boxes of produce delivered to you every week!
Check out http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/farmersmarkets0.htmln to find one in your neighborhood!