It’s that time of year. No more snow and ice—for now, anyway—and the earth’s bounty is yours for the picking at your local farmers market. I’ve only had one guest blogger on Mind Your Body TV and I’m pleased to welcome back Sharon Palmer, RD. Sharon stars in this Mind Your Body TV video about the benefits of the plant-powered diet, also the subject of her book. We’re not talking about eating all plants all the time, but incorporating these naturally healthy foods into your diet because of the long list of benefits they provide. It’s the healthiest diet on the planet, bar none.
Today Sharon writes about why your local farmers market is THE place to be for food, fun, and new ways to put more excitement into your daily meals—as well as better health. Sharon, take it away!
Farm to table: the season for farmers markets
There’s no doubt about it, a visit to your local farmers market is a great way to spend a summer morning. A kaleidoscope of vibrant colors and a mélange of earthy aromas await you. Better yet, your local farmers market can serve as an inspiration for delicious, healthy meals that focus on plant-powered foods all year long.
And farmers markets offer more benefits than meet the eye.
The season is the reason
Here are five reasons why I encourage you to visit your local farmers market this month:
- Keep your dollars close to home. When you choose to purchase food from local farms and vendors, you’re supporting your local community.
- Educate yourself. Farmers markets allow you to take part in a conversation about the food that will later be served on your dinner table. When you visit a booth at the farmers market, you can ask the farmer where and how your food was grown.
- Health benefits are plenty. Farmers markets deliver nutrient-rich, flavorful food harvested a few short hours before you purchase it. And if you stock your refrigerator with nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, picked at their flavor and nutrient peak, you’re more likely to include more antioxidant-rich, disease-protective fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
- Taking care of Mother Earth. Most farmers markets provide food for your plate without the need for a “sell-by” date. By preventing food from traveling long distances, you’re helping to save Mother Earth’s precious natural resources and reduce waste.
- Learn some new cooking skills. Farmers markets encourage you to step outside of your cooking comfort zone. Not sure what to do with radishes? Need a new recipe for kale? By simply purchasing what’s in season, you’ll learn to prepare a variety of foods and dishes, no matter what time of year.
With so many reasons to shop at your local farmers market, it’s time to schedule your next trip! Wondering where to find your nearest farmers market? Visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s listing of farmers markets at: http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets/