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  • Mary PreFontaine Heim RPh FAAFM

Farmers Market: Fresh and Local

May marks the official start of the “farmers’ market” season, where you will find a bounty of fresh and seasonal foods. There are multiple benefits to eating local food:

  • Local foods are fresher. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose nutrients the moment they are picked. Buying local produce cuts down travel time from farm to table.

  • Local foods are seasonal. It would be wonderful to have fresh tomatoes and berries all year round, but eating seasonally means avoiding artificial ripening with gases or eating a bland version that’s been shipped thousands of miles. Eating seasonally results in the most delicious and nutrient-dense produce.

  • Local foods promote food safety. Less distance between your food’s source and your kitchen table leaves less of a chance of contamination.

  • Local foods are better for the environment. Some foods are shipped literally thousands of miles resulting in a large carbon footprint that is avoided when purchasing local.

  • Local foods preserve green space and farmland. Buying foods grown and raised closer to where you live helps maintain farmland and green space in your area.

  • Local foods support your local economy. Money spent locally stays local. Purchasing locally builds your local economy instead of handing over the earnings to a corporation in another state or country.

  • Local foods create community. Getting to know your farmer, butcher, workers at your local co-op, and just chatting with other people at the farm market creates a sense of community.

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