Benefits of supporter your farmers markets
June 19, 2017
In many countries throughout the world, such as Europe, Asia, South and Central America, it is considered the norm for people to buy their fresh foods from farmers markets or pick it fresh from their garden on a daily basis. Here in the United States we are conditioned to visit our grocery store where we can choose almost any food at any time. There are certainly benefits to both, but when we look at the myriad of benefits that farmers markets bring, it's a no-brainer!
Eat Clean, Stay Lean: Eating fresh food from farmers markets means staying away from highly processed foods that contain high levels of pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and genetic modification. Much of the food we find in grocery stores have been waxed, irradiated and gassed to preserve it for long transit time. In comparison, accessing food from our local farmers markets gives us highly nutritious food that is picked within 1-2 days of being sold. This is when we reap the most benefit to all of the key nutrients in these foods. Our bodies are more satisfied, thus less hungry when we feed it highly nutritious food. When we consume packaged, processed or highly preserved foods we lose most if not all of the nutrients, these are empty calories, so we continue to crave more and pack on more weight.
Protect Your Environment: We all need to be cognoscente of our footprint on Mother Nature. Food that we access from grocery stores travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate, in contrast food from farmers markets average less than 100 miles to get to your plate. It is estimated that we use 10 kilocalories of fossil fuel energy into our food system for every 1 kilocalorie of energy we get as food, this is not sustainable. Long transport time also means generation of large quantities of carbon dioxide emissions.
Eat Seasonal: Eating seasonal means foods that taste better, are cheaper, more nutritious and supporting the needs of our current health in each season. In Chinese medicine eating seasonal is a major part of attaining great health. When we eat seasonal, we not only live within the laws of the universe and support nature, we acquire the most nutrition.
Support Family Farmers: Small family farms have a hard time competing in our current globalized economy where agribusiness dominates food production. When family farmers are put out of business, the production of vitally energetic food and seed is poor and we lose a major connection to Mother Earth.
Know Where Your Food Comes From: This has been the most recent tag line amongst a plethora of famous actors and actresses that have created their own cookbooks in recent years. When we are aware of the practices of our local farms we know what we're eating and how our food is treated and produced. This includes the humane treatment of animals, farm workers and the rich soil used to cultivate the food.
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The Flavors are Alive: The flavors that hit your palate are like no other when you eat freshly picked, ripe foods. Cooking is more fun when we use fresh ingredients giving our plate a taste like no other. In Chinese medicine when we eat live, freshly picked foods, we consume the vital energy that they offer to us.
Eat a Variety of Foods: When we shop at the grocery store we often get into a rut of eating the same foods over and over again. When we eat only seasonal, fresh foods we are forced to be creative with new dishes and try foods we've never heard of or be adverse to. Mother Nature is amazingly diverse, and so too should our diets be.
The Power of Your Community: Farmers markets are community hubs, where bringing our kids, meeting up with friends and attaining new ones are the norm. It is a chance to connect with the deep roots of our community and support are local economy.
Treat Animals Kindly: Cruelty to animals is unfortunately the norm in mass production facilities. In Chinese medicine we receive the energy of the food we eat, if it's laden with chemicals, fear and pain, we receive all of this. Buying meats, cheeses, and eggs locally will assure humane treatment of animals without the use of antibiotics, hormones and tight, unnatural living conditions, which benefits our health as well as theirs.
Become a Better Cook: Many farmers markets and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) baskets will hand out recipes, which gives us the opportunity to try new flavorful foods in a creative way.
If you can't make it to your local farmers markets, there are many CSA baskets you can purchase on a weekly or seasonal basis (even in the winter!) which will give you the same benefits. Feel better, live better and be better to your environment by supporting your local farmers market!