Healthier Meals from Farm to Table

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With busy schedules and a plethora of unhealthy, but convenient foods out there, it’s easy to get your family in an unhealthy eating lifestyle. A recent article published by the Mayo Clinic explains that buying local not only supports farmers in the community and local economy, but also gives you an opportunity to go green and refresh your healthy eating habits. Here are some simple strategies that will help get you more bang (and flavor) for your buck at your local farmers market.

1) Shop Early for the Best Selection

Growers show up in the a.m. With their trucks full, so the closer to opening time you arrive, the better and broader your options will be. Take a few minutes to walk around and check out all the vendors’ offerings; you’re likely to find competing price points for the items you want.

2) Shop Late for Savings

Many farmers (though not all) would rather sell some of their items at a deep discount than haul heavy loads of their goods all the way back to their property. You may have to sacrifice variety (especially on busy weekends), but you might score a few bargains during the last hour of the day.

3) Have a Taste

You’d get some funny looks if you started nibbling on the fruits or baked goods at your grocery store. But plenty of vendors hand out samples to encourage you to test their bounty, so you’ll know right away if the berries are sweet enough for a pie or if the bread will make an excellent sandwich.

4) Try New Things

Go ahead and experiment with unfamiliar ingredients like purple cauliflower or kohirabi. Sellers are usually happy to suggest ways to cook with their crops. If you’re unsure about preparation, strike up a conversation before you buy.

5) Stock Up

While supermarket produce is often harvested weeks before it arrives in stores, the items you see at a greenmarket are usually plucked from the ground the day before you buy them. That means your purchases will have a longer life expectancy-so take home an armload of your favorite seasonal treat!

 

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