The Real Urban Jungle
Some may think that living in an urban area means limited-to-no access to fresh foods. Others may feel disconnected from nature in their particular concrete jungle. But today more than ever, cities are on the cutting edge of receiving some of the best produce around. Thanks to an assortment of co-ops, produce stands, and farmers markets, urbanites can easily access their area’s best local goods.
When summer begins, urban farmers markets start to pop up everywhere in cities such as New York, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. Many city dwellers, having moved away from megastores closely identified with smaller towns, now realize the importance of eating locally. “Locavores,” as they are lovingly known, pride themselves in growth of this farm-to-fork movement, and hang their health on the shelf of eating greener, and thus, healthier.
Don’t think this is just another hipster trend, though. Individuals consider it going back to their “dietary” roots, and it is unexpectedly inspired by the cities these often rural or suburban transplants move to. Farmer’s markets depict the very essence of community and promote an atmosphere of camaraderie and conversation among local buyers and sellers.
Below are ten reasons you should try out a local farmer’s market. Don’t let living in a city dissuade you from enjoying what just may be the freshest produce you’ve ever tasted!
1. SNAP and WIC cards are accepted at many farmer’s markets.
2. Farmer’s markets have fruits and vegetables that are in season. This means the food is at its peak in flavor and nutrition.
3. Shopping at farmer’s markets supports your local farmers and gives them a better return for their produce. This keeps the money you spend closer to your neighborhood.
4. You protect the environment. Food in the US travels an average of 1500 miles to get to your plate. Food at a farmer’s market typically travels less than 100 miles.
5. Most food found in grocery stores is highly processed. Farmers at the farmer’s markets go to great lengths to produce the most nutritious food possible by minimizing its processing.
6. You can discover an amazing variety of produce at a farmer’s market that you will not find in grocery stores.
7. You can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics unlike their brethren on feedlots.
8. You learn where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to farmers is a great opportunity to learn more about how food is grown.
9. You can pick up free advice on how to cook the foods that are sold at farmer’s markets. Seldom will a grocery store cashier provide such advice.
10. You connect with your community by strolling outside on a sunny day instead of rolling a cart in a grocery store.
What if you don’t have a farmer’s market near you? Look for roadside stands. They sell many of the same fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables that farmers markets sell.
Whether you live in a city area or are just visiting, check out a local farmer’s markets nearby; it’s a great way to spend an afternoon. This summer, eat fresh, eat healthy, and eat local!