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Benefits of buying at a farmers market

Benefits of buying at a farmers market | UPMC Health Plan

Summer is in full swing, and so are many of the local farmers markets. Here are 10 reasons to visit a farmers market today!

  1. Fresh, local foods. The fruits and vegetables are picked at the peak of their growing season, meaning this produce is the freshest and the tastiest available.
  2. A wider variety. Farmers markets can offer a lot of variety, vastly different even from what you see in the grocery store. Take a chance and try a new fruit or vegetable!
  3. Seasonal treats. By shopping at farmers markets, you get to find the truest flavors of the season and connect with the growing season where you live. Enjoy fresh asparagus, spinach, and strawberries in the spring, indulge in fresh peaches and apricots in the summer, and cook with fresh pumpkins and apples for some amazing fall flavors!
  4. It’s good for your health. Produce and foods found in farmers markets are minimally processed and often grown without using pesticides, antibiotics, or genetic modification. Nourish yourself with nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables!
  5. Surprisingly affordable. Grocery stores seem to charge an arm and a leg for fresh produce. However, at farmers markets, locally grown foods are typically cheaper due to shorter travel and minimal processing, getting you more bang for your buck!
  6. Support family farmers. Family farms have decreased over the years because of high costs and bigger competitors. By buying from farmers markets, you are helping to support those local family farms, giving them capital they need to continue providing fresh produce for your family!
  7. Know where your food comes from. You can also learn some great tips and recipes from farmers and fellow patrons.
  8. Protect the environment. Food in the USA travels an average of 1,500 miles to get your plate! This means high use of fuels that pollute the environment. Not only that, many big box farms use pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and processing equipment that can contribute to environmental decay. When you buy local, your food not only travels short distances, but it is typically grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.
  9. Shopping is more social. Farmers markets are a great way to bring communities together. Meet friends there, or have a day out with the family. Some farmers markets even offer entertainment or classes! Check out your local market today to see what you’ve been missing!
  10. Support the local economy. Many farms in the Pittsburgh area are within 100 miles of the city. This means more local jobs and money back into your community.