Nutrition-wise blog

National Farmers Market Week

By Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D. July 16, 2016

August 7-13 is National Farmers Market Week. How much do you know about farmers markets? Here are some interesting facts:

  • Half of farmers who sell at farmers markets derive at least half of their revenue from farmers market sales.
  • Farmers markets return more than three times as much of their revenue back to the local economy than do chain competitors.
  • Farmers markets expand access to fresh produce at prices that are comparable to or lower than supermarket prices.
  • More so than supermarkets, farmers markets provide the opportunity to shop with others. "Meeting at the market" fosters community, social interaction and public health benefits.
  • On average, food sold at retail stores travels over 1,000 miles from where it was grown to where it is sold. In contrast, farmers markets typically sell produce that travels no more than 200 miles. Buying local reduces the carbon footprint and contributes to a healthy environment.

Have you been to your farmers market yet? I have. I'm making plans to celebrate Farmers Market Week too. Here's what I'm hoping to do:

  • Take the family to my local farmers market and have breakfast or lunch there.
  • Let my family choose the weeks' groceries there: veggies and fruit, meats, eggs, milk and cheese — and even gluten-free bread for my husband.
  • Try at least one new veggie. Some candidates include kohlrabi (a bulb-shaped member of the cabbage family), Romanesco (a type of cauliflower) and celeriac (celery-flavored root). I bet the grandkids will love yardlong beans. They can be as long as 20 inches! Any suggestions for recipes?
  • Thank our local farmers and tell them how much they mean to our world, our community and our personal health.

Like last year, I'm going to bring copies of this blog with me to give to the farmers — add your thanks in the comment section and I'll make sure they get them too!

July 16, 2016