For many of us, particularly city dwellers, the arrival of our neighborhood farmers’ markets in the spring and summer months is a welcome sight for a number of reasons. Of course, seeing real-life farmers – some of whom really do wear straw hats and overalls (gasp!) – is always a thrill.
More importantly though, we relish the opportunity to support our local economies while bettering the health of ourselves and the environment.
Locavores, or people who advocate the consumption of only locally grown or harvested foods, define “local” as being within 100 miles of where you live. Most of the fruits and vegetables found in the average American supermarket have been shipped from much greater distances, including other countries.
Choosing to purchase local foods, therefore, reduces your carbon footprint because it takes far less greenhouse gas-emitting gasoline for those foods to reach you.
If a healthier earth isn’t enough to convince you to visit your local farmers’ market, what about a healthier you?
Many of the foods found at farmers’ markets are organically grown, meaning they have not been subjected to harmful chemicals or pesticides.
Dr. Victor Marchione, an internist and pulmonologist, believes in the importance of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to protect against disease. Dr. Marchione said:
“Optimally, organic and local produce is best for fighting cancer and for your health overall.”
Not every product sold at farmers’ markets is organic, so be sure to inquire with the vendors.
So, be sure to check out your local farmers’ markets and save yourself a trip to the supermarket. And for more information on Dr. Marchione, visit his Vitals profile.
Sources: doctorshealthpress.com, miller-mccune.com, and mlive.com