The Benefits Of Shopping At A Farmer's Market

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Updated: 5/22/2012 6:05 pm
Farmers' markets have been around as long as there have been farmers. 

These marts are designed to bring fresh produce and other homemade goodies from local rural areas to more urban communities. Experts say they're good for the economy and good for you.

"Farmer's market produce is great because it's picked at peak ripeness, that means the fruits and vegetables at a farmer's market have maximum nutritional value,"  said Katherine Tallmadge, registered dietitian.

And farmer's markets are a smart way to go green.

"When you buy locally and seasonally, you're using less water, less energy, and fewer pesticides,"  Tallmadge added.

In fact, heirloom varieties of veggies and fruits which have been passed down through generations of farming, have natural resistance to pests, disease and are better able to tolerate local conditions.  Sure, you may pay a little more for that heirloom tomato, but unlike fruits and veggies found in stores, farmer's market produce is at it's peak of freshness. 

"The variety of fruits and vegetables you can get at a farmer's market are more tender, sweet and juicy than you might be able to find at a grocery store because it doesn't have to be shipped long distances,"  said Tallmadge.

And as the seasons change, so will the items on sale, so you can have fresh produce throughout the entire growing season, without driving to the country every week.

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