Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tidbit: Great Reasons to shop the Farmers Market

Photo courtesy of Alice Henneman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

I missed National Farmers market week (it's earlier in August) but I’m here to declare August Farmers Market Month.

We have a small “Healthy Street” farmers market every Thursday in the summer, directly in front of the hospital where I work in Grand Rapids. It’s fun to browse on my lunch break and find yummy things to bring home for the next few night’s dinners.

My favorite farmers market thing this year was fresh strawberry shortcake served with fresh biscuits, fresh strawberries, and real whipping cream from the Dunneback Girls (local farmers on 6-Mile Road). That day I called it my lunch! (Sorry, I ate it so fast I didn’t get a photo).

There are many great reasons to shop at a local farmers market. (Here is a link to tell you 9 reasons, from University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.)  For me, the biggest reason to shop farmers markets is that you are helping support your local farmers.

Did you know that of every dollar spent in the conventional food market, 91 cents goes to suppliers, processors, middlemen and marketers, while 9 cents goes to the farmer? But farmers who sell direct to consumers through the farmers market or through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar. That’s huge, because there's no middleman!

I’ll be picking up more squash, tomatoes, green beans and bread tomorrow, and maybe some peaches if there are any left. Yum!

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