Farmers markets are the best place to find locally sourced fresh produce

From fresh produce to supporting your local economy, there are many reasons to shop at your local farmers market.

Summer in Michigan is such an exciting time. Between the Great Lakes, beautiful beaches, sand dunes and hiking paths, Michigan has it all. Michigan is also lucky enough to have hundreds of farmers markets all around our state open during the summertime. Through the Michigan Farmers Market Association, or MIFMA, you can view the locations of farmers markets statewide, as well as the programs they offer and how to get involved. Farmers’markets allow us an opportunity to develop a relationship with the growers who help produce our food. Consuming produce from farmers markets nourishes our bodies as we reap the rewards of consuming the freshest fruits and vegetables.

Fresh foods found at the farmers market allow us to maximize consumption of vitamins and minerals by eating food shortly after it is harvested. Conditions associated with how fruits and vegetables are stored and harvested may reduce nutrient value. The U.S. Department of Agriculture boasts phytonutrients and antioxidants in fresh food as one of several reasons why eating fresh from your local market is a good idea.

If you are looking for ways to eat healthy, shopping your local farmers market is great way to ensure fresh, flavorful and seasonal produce, while also building relationships with growers and keeping your dollar in the community. Nutrition.gov lists some additional reaons why shopping at your local market is a good idea.

Reasons to shop at a local farmers market
  • Affordable, seasonally grown produce is often easy on your wallet
  • Support local economy by spending your dollars locally
  • Food is ripe upon purchase and ready to eat or preserve
  • If looking for organically grown produce, seek vendors who use these growing practices
  • Seasonal, there is never a better time to eat food than when it’s in season
  • Get kids involved, they just might eat more vegetables
  • Try new foods
  • Federal food assistance programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women Infant Children (WIC) are usually accepted

Give it a try instead of going to the store to buy strawberries from another country, buy fresh, local produce from the farmers market. Michigan State University Extension has classes and resources in every county to help with the purchasing, cooking and even canning of your locally grown produce. Buying and eating locally has never been easier.

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