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Purchase Nutrient-Packed Produce at Local Farmers Markets

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Did you know that, according to the Farmers Market Coalition, local food markets created 61,000 new jobs in 2008, and the number of certified farmers markets increased by as much as 17% in 2010? Farmers markets support local farmers and local economies, and offer consumers relatively inexpensive foods, including fresh produce. What are you likely to find at your local farmers market, and what are the benefits of purchasing foods from these markets?

What to Expect From Your Local Farmers Market?

As of 2012, there were approximately 7,500 certified farmers markets in the United States. Refer to the latest USDA Farmers Market Directory to find a farmers market in your area. Once you have located a nearby market, you may have some reasonable questions about what to expect.

Farmers markets vary a great deal by region. Some farmers markets, including mass farmers markets, can be very large, while others consist of a few, select local vendors. Depending on your area and particular market, vendors may offer produce and foods year-round, or on a seasonal basis. Farmers markets often offer produce, including fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, breads, pastries, flowers, spices, prepared foods, and sometimes dairy products. Some include live music and handmade wares, including clothing, candles, and household items, too.

How Can You Benefit From Farmers Markets?

Locally sourced foods comes with its fair share of benefits. What are they?

  • Locally grown food. Consumers can rest assured that fresh and prepared foods at farmers markets are locally based. In fact, 85% of farmers selling at markets travel 50 miles or less, according to magazine Farmers Market Today. Locally produced foods are fresher than products in stores, and, according to the Farmers Market Coalition, “at the peak of nutrient availability.”
  • Cheap Veggies and Fruits. Farmers markets are, on a whole, cheaper than local grocery stores. A price comparison by Anthony Flaccavento reveals that farmers markets are, on average, 22% less expensive than supermarkets.Support local farmers, and the U.S. economy. Head out to local farmers markets for fresh produce and prepared foods, and enjoy nutritious fruits and vegetables at competitively low prices.
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