I love the summer season because every Sunday my town hosts a farmer’s market full of fresh local produce. Although the market is small, it features all of the fruits and vegetables that are currently in season. The selection changes every few weeks as the harvests do. It’s the closest to real food as I can get living across the bridge from the Capital of the World!
Everything in Season
Eating Paleo has taught me that it’s important to eat food that your body was made to eat. It’s not just about excluding synthetic ingredients, dairy and grains – it’s about eating the most beneficial foods the Earth has to offer. Hundreds of thousands of years ago our ancestors had to eat whatever foods were available during different seasons in their geographic area, and they evolved to thrive on those foods. Today, we can reconnect with nature by eating the fruits and veggies that are currently in season!
This week we scored some raw honey, poblano peppers, beautiful peaches, cucumbers, summer squash, eggplants, and a big juicy watermelon.
Produce at your supermarket might be pretty and convenient, but how nutritious is it? According to their labels, a lot of the veggies at my supermarket have traveled thousands of miles before reaching the shelves of the store, from other countries and continents! Fruits and vegetables lose nutrition as time goes by and the farther they travel.
This is another big reason I love going to the farmer’s market. Everything was grown within an hour driving distance from where it is sold, probably picked the day before. It’s as fresh – and nutritious – as can be. Seriously, you can taste the difference.
In addition, unless you’re willing to pay premiums for organic foods at supermarkets, you’re buying conventionally produced produce, likely grown with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification.
Most of the local farmers I meet at my farmer’s market are definitely not using commercial agricultural methods, in fact, most of them proudly offer amazing heirloom varieties and take great pride in sustainable and natural growing methods.
Probably the most unbelievable part about my Sunday farmer’s market trips is how cost-effective they are. Going to the market isn’t just something I have to do for my health, it’s something my wallet appreciates too. We bought a bunch of fresh organic foods, some homemade Italian sausage, premium parmesan cheese, bacon and eggs, and even some locally-roasted coffee – all for under $50! If we had bought this at the supermarket, it would cost twice as much, and be of much lower quality.
There’s something about doing your shopping in the fresh air on a sunny morning, among fellow locals, farmers, and artists. It offers instant stress relief. Most importantly, it connects me to the community around me. I got to learn about the farms, pick up some cooking tips, try something new, and get some positivity from socializing with the people around me!
Now that giant agrochemical companies are dominating the market, it is more important than ever to support local farmers, small businesses doing honest work, and growing high-quality food. Doing your shopping at a farmer’s market helps support them and help them continue providing us with good food (which is getting harder and harder to find at the regular store).
So check out your local market when you get a chance – you might love it as much as I do!