Fashion Magazine

10 Reasons to Shop At Farmers Markets

By Tanvi Rastogi @tanviidotcom
Baltimore Farmer's Market Tanvii.com
One of the MANY reasons I love summer is the return of Farmer's Markets. Growing up in India, I never realized that one day I would have to 'seek out' local produce. As a 90's kid I have grown up and fed on local produce which the vendors would source from farmers and that's where you would find all your fruits and vegetables. There is no concept of grocery stores and produce section. Anyways, cut-to twenty years later here I am in United States, getting excited about weekend farmer's markets. You ask, why? Well, from savoring produce at the peak of freshness to meeting the people who grow your food, there are countless reasons to support farmers markets. Here are just a few to encourage you visit your local Farmer's Market too, if you don't already: 

1. Taste Real Flavors

The fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmers market are the freshest and tastiest available. Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage. This food is as real as it gets—fresh from the farm.

2. Enjoy the Season

The food you buy at the farmers market is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the farmers market helps you to reconnect with the cycles of nature in our region. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer, or bake pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the turning of the year.

3. Support Family Farmers

Family farmers need your support, now that large agribusiness dominates food production. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.

4. Protect the Environment

Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land, and air with toxic agricultural by-products. Food at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.

5. Nourish Yourself

Much food found in grocery stores is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. These practices may have negative effects on human health. In contrast, most food found at the farmers market is minimally processed, and many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties.

6. Discover the Spice of Life: Variety

At the farmers market you find an amazing array of produce that you don’t see in your average supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, stinging nettles, green garlic, watermelon radishes, quail eggs, maitake mushrooms, and much, much more. It is a wonderful opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.

7. Promote Humane Treatment of Animals

At the farmers market, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets, and who have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of feedlots and cages that are typical of animal agriculture.

8. Know Where Your Food Comes From

A regular trip to a farmers market is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to farmers and food artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced.

9. Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes, and Meal Ideas

Farmers, ranchers, and artisans at the farmers market are often passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling. 

10. Connect with Your Community

Wouldn’t you rather stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped in music? Coming to the farmers market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore.
Keeping in with the theme of this post, below is a shoot I did in collaboration with Nordstrom, bsimple creations, and Jess at the Baltimore Farmer's Market. While I have been to many, this was definitely one of the most fun and unique market. I cannot wait to go back, hopefully in this season itself. A special mention to the bsimple bag, which is, believe it or not made with machine-washable paper. 
Photography via JessBeeCreates Baltimore Farmer's Market Tanvii.com Baltimore Farmer's Market Tanvii.com Baltimore Farmer's Market Tanvii.com Baltimore Farmer's Market Tanvii.com Baltimore Farmer's Market Tanvii.com Baltimore Farmer's Market Tanvii.com Baltimore Farmer's Market Tanvii.com Baltimore Farmer's Market Tanvii.com Baltimore Farmer's Market Tanvii.com Baltimore Farmer's Market Tanvii.com Baltimore Farmer's Market Tanvii.com Location - Baltimore Farmer's Market  Dress - Nordstrom // Similar Shoes - Tommy Hilfiger // Similar Hat - Steve Madden // Similar Bag - bsimple // Same

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