Why You Should Give Farmers Markets a Try

Summers in Michigan are the perfect time to find nearby markets and stores selling fresh, locally grown produce.

Michigan is filled with neighborhood farmers markets that open up for their communities each week. Eating locally grown foods creates many benefits for the consumer, the community and the farmers growing these foods.

The Michigan Farmers Market Association was created in 2006 as a statewide association to promote local food consumption in Michigan by linking more farmers to consumers through farmers markets. These local markets can be a fun event for the whole family to attend, while learning about delicious, healthy foods that we can fuel our bodies with every day.

As the outdoor farmers market season expands, families have the opportunity to take advantage of the great locally-grown fruits and vegetables right in their hometown.

Here are some great reasons to frequent your local farmers market.

  • Full-of-flavor produce. It’s no secret that produce tastes best when it’s perfectly ripe. If you’ve ever picked strawberries right off the bush or apples directly off a tree, you know fresh tastes amazing.
  • Eating locally is eating seasonally. Eating foods that are grown locally means eating foods that are in peak season. The fruits and vegetables we consume during winter months usually have to travel thousands of miles before you can get them at the grocery store. Farmers market produce is fresh, juicy and will last longer as it was most likely picked right when it was ready.
  • Promotes food safety. The longer it takes for food to be distributed between where it is grown and your fridge, the larger the opportunity for food contamination. Knowing where your food comes from is one way to potentially avoid becoming sick from the food you eat.
  • Produce has more nutrients. Buying local means a shorter time between harvest and your table, so fruits and vegetables will likely have retained more of their nutrients.
  • Benefits the environment. When food has to be shipped across the country to consumers, this can leave a big carbon footprint on the environment. By buying food that is close to home, you are preserving farmland in the area.
  • You can find out how the food was grown. If knowing where your food is coming from is an important fact for you, buying locally is the easiest option. Local growers can tell you the practices and tactics they used to grow and harvest the produce you are purchasing. This is the best way for you to know the most about your food.
  • Supports the local economy. The money you spend at farmers markets is most likely going to stay close to home. The dollar you spend on a basket of peaches will be reinvested in businesses around your town.

If you are looking to find a farmers market near you, visit Michigan Farmers Market Association for locations and times.

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Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan

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