You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Healthy Living: Farmers’ markets offer fresh options
MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Searching for fresh, nutritious food? Want alternatives to everyday ingredients? To find healthy foods and unique products, you don’t have to look much farther than your “back yard.” Local farmers’ markets provide less-processed, flavorful produce and other farm-fresh products that can add variety to your diet and keep you on track with healthy choices. TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, explains the benefits of visiting a local farmers’ market and offers some shopping list ideas.
Reasons to Buy Local
1. It comes direct from the farmer or grower. You can trust that the produce is fresh and learn more about where it comes from.
2. The products haven’t had a long journey. At a farmers’ market, it’s safe to assume that the food hasn’t traveled long distances to get there. This reduces energy consumption to transport them and decreases the time between harvest and consumption.
3. Vendors offer recently harvested produce. Reducing the time between when the food is picked and when it is consumed helps ensure that the nutrients have been preserved.
4. It supports the local economy. Many markets put a mileage limit on vendors, ensuring that the food is from the area. By purchasing food at a nearby farmers’ market, you are giving money to neighborhood farmers and stimulating the local economy.
5. Farmers and growers are the best resource. As you are making your food choices, take time to talk to local vendors about their products. Ask them about the growing process and when the food was picked. Many of them are also a great resource for cooking tips or recipes.
6. You can try new foods. A farmers’ market is a great opportunity to learn about foods you’ve never seen and purchase items that will spice up your refrigerator or kitchen pantry. It keeps your meals interesting.
7. They offer seasonal produce. Vendors offer vibrant fruits and vegetables that change with the season. When foods are in season, they are more colorful and flavorful. At a conventional store, it can be difficult to determine what foods are in season.
Farmer’s Market Shopping List
Heirloom Tomatoes -- Add variety to a salad or vegetable platter. Unlike store-bought tomatoes, each Heirloom looks and tastes different from the rest. They’re also a great source of numerous vitamins and minerals and contain lycopene, which studies show may lower the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular disease.
Raw Honey -- This is honey in its purest form. Not only does raw honey contain vitamin B, amino acids, and minerals like iron and potassium, but it also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Free-Range Eggs -- A test by “Mother Earth News” magazine suggests that eggs from grass-fed, free-range chickens, on average, have one-third of the cholesterol and one-fourth of the saturated fat of conventional eggs. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Fresh Herbs -- Basil, sage, cilantro, and other spices and herbs are a great way to boost a meal’s flavor without adding calories. They are also gaining attention for their potential to decrease inflammation, reduce the risk of cancer, fight heart disease, and more.
Beets -- Beets are a unique source of betaine and folate, nutrients that help protect against heart disease. Grate raw beets for a colorful addition to a salad or marinate them in lemon juice, olive oil, and fresh herbs.
Swiss Chard -- Like spinach, Swiss chard is rich with nutrients, including vitamins K, A, and C. Use boiled Swiss chard in omelets to add some zest, or mix it with whole grain pasta.
Homemade Bread -- Buy homemade whole grain bread from the farmers’ market. Whole grains are a source of fiber and other nutrients, including potassium and magnesium. They can help lower the risk of cancer, protect against heart disease, and maintain a person’s weight.
Rhubarb -- This brightly colored, celery-like food is a source of vitamins C and K, calcium, and fiber. Although it is a common pie ingredient, rhubarb can also be served as chutney for meat or a topper for yogurt.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Benefit for animal shelter is Aug. 1 (July 29, 2015)
Cestohowa Altar Society ladies celebrate 60 years of service (July 29, 2015)
Church youth to hold car wash (July 29, 2015)
Don’t miss Kosciusko Picnic this Sunday (July 29, 2015)
Free movie Friday in Poth (July 29, 2015)
Historical marker denotes former school site (July 29, 2015)
Legion Auxiliary garage sale Aug. 1 (July 29, 2015)
Life in the Camp Ranch community (July 29, 2015)
Luciano Pacheco – the sole Tejano survivor of the Alamo (July 29, 2015)
Opry helps fund historical markers (July 29, 2015)
Popeye beach pail (July 29, 2015)
See a free flick in Elmendorf (July 29, 2015)
Stuff the bus in Stockdale (July 29, 2015)
Summer program ends at Falls City library (July 29, 2015)
WCRSP delivers children’s books to schools (July 29, 2015)
Balance classes start July 27 (July 22, 2015)
Be a high roller in Floresville (July 22, 2015)
Bobble-head Bozo (July 22, 2015)
Cool down with free snow cones (July 22, 2015)
Copper-pot craftsmanship — CINCO Vodka (July 22, 2015)
Marion Sausage Supper is Aug. 1 (July 22, 2015)
Mu Chi members attend state convention (July 22, 2015)
Opry lineup is sure to satisfy (July 22, 2015)
Save the date for Kody Fest Aug. 8 (July 22, 2015)
Shop ‘Trinkets and Treasures’ (July 22, 2015)
SSCA seeks donations for rummage sale (July 22, 2015)
Start two-stepping at FUMC (July 22, 2015)
Texas sales-tax holiday (July 22, 2015)
The Landing offers help for teens (July 22, 2015)
What a difference an ‘A’ makes! (July 22, 2015)
Browse, learn, shop at Home and Garden Show (July 15, 2015)
Celebrate Czech Day in Jourdanton (July 15, 2015)
Daughters of the Republic installs officers (July 15, 2015)
Enjoy St. Anthony church fest (July 15, 2015)
Experience ‘The Hobbit’ under the stars (July 15, 2015)
Free Movies at the Park in Poth (July 15, 2015)
Learn to compost with worms (July 15, 2015)
Legion Auxiliary plans garage sale (July 15, 2015)
Library happenings (July 15, 2015)
Mystery blanket sparks search (July 15, 2015)
Night In Old Fredericksburg is July 18 (July 15, 2015)
Plan now for Beaver Roundup (July 15, 2015)
Teddy bears, pottery (July 15, 2015)
The bridges of Wilson County (July 15, 2015)
‘Atomic tourists’ converge on Trinity Site ahead of 70th anniversary (July 15, 2015)
Behind the lens: Cover photo (July 8, 2015)
Bobby Flores Birthday Bash is July 11 (July 8, 2015)
Early settlers of Wilson County (July 8, 2015)
Enjoy ‘Big Hero 6’ at Movie Day (July 8, 2015)
Enjoy ‘Cool Tunes’ in Brenham (July 8, 2015)
Family violence shelter seeks volunteers (July 8, 2015)
Family weekend fun in Adkins (July 8, 2015)
FHS Reunion is July 25 (July 8, 2015)
Fishing lures (July 8, 2015)
Give blood at Sacred Heart Church (July 8, 2015)
Hamilton earns rank of captain (July 8, 2015)
Memorial hog hunt a hit! (July 8, 2015)
Save the date for Home and Garden Show (July 8, 2015)
See comedians in China Grove (July 8, 2015)
‘Alabama’ to invade K-Town (July 8, 2015)
‘Dying’ brings broadcaster back to life (July 8, 2015)
Bible study in Verdi (July 1, 2015)
Buses, pickup trucks, automobiles, and walking (July 1, 2015)
Davy Crockett, Depression glass (July 1, 2015)
Dog shows start July 8 (July 1, 2015)
Enjoy Fourth of July parade, concert in Seguin (July 1, 2015)
Enjoy Sunday Dances all month (July 1, 2015)
Free July 4 concerts in SA (July 1, 2015)
Free music, fireworks in Brenham (July 1, 2015)
Ice cream makers, tasters needed (July 1, 2015)
Jack's Cafe adds Sports Room and patio (July 1, 2015)
July is for grape stomping (July 1, 2015)
Look who's flying solo! (July 1, 2015)
Memories fly following balloon stories (July 1, 2015)
Register for state-wide Chili Cook-off (July 1, 2015)
Remembering my first haircut (July 1, 2015)
Savor: Summer drinks with calories and exercise equivalents (July 1, 2015)
South Texas Gardener reveals 'mystery plants' (July 1, 2015)
The Gathering Music Show (July 1, 2015)