Locally produced fruits and vegetables in season are generally healthier because they are allowed to ripen in the field and they are brought directly from the farm to the market. They do not sit for weeks in storage or shipped from somewhere far, and their ripening process is natural.
More often than not, you buy food from the supermarket without even knowing where they came from. If you’re simply tired of eating mass-produced food, head down to the Downtown Santa Ana Farmers’ Market. They serve the Santa Ana community every Thursday at 4:00 to 8:00PM, selling only top-quality homegrown produce. Other than the great health benefits urgent care providers cite, here are other reasons why you should shop at the farmers’ market.
- Nourish Yourself
Local farmers go to great lengths to provide the community with the freshest and most nutritious produce. They use sustainable techniques, harvest the produce right before they sell it, and even grow heirloom varieties.
The produce is also seasonal, which means that they are grown without the need for artificial methods that are detrimental to human health and the environment. You can ensure that you are eating fresh food that is not genetically-modified, pre-processed, and grassed or irradiated in transit.
The meat products you get at the farmers market are from animals raised humanely in natural living conditions. They grazed on green grass and lived on natural diets, instead of hormones and antibiotics that are typical of conventional animal farms. You are assured of feeding your family with tastier and healthier food.
- Support Local Farmers and Small Business Owners
By patronizing products from farmers markets, you are supporting the livelihood of local farmers and small business owners, instead of making multinational corporations richer. To grow organic produce and make natural-made products, these farmers use methods that are less economical and require manual labor.
High-yield harvests are not always safe because crops are more vulnerable to natural hazards. But small-scale farmers do not resort to conventional agricultural methods despite their losses. They take these risks to provide healthier food options for the community. Their products may cost a little more, but at least you get what you pay for and on top of that, you keep their businesses going.
- Connect with the Community
Going out once a week to shop at the farmers market is a great way to connect with your community and meet your neighbors. Because the idea is to sell produce directly to the consumer, the consumer gets to see the faces that grew their food. There is no middleman.
Farmers are usually very friendly and they entertain every question their customers have. The culture at farmers markets cultivates close-knit relationships, with the consumer end not only receiving products, but learning many things about the shared land.
- Indulge in the Visual Feast
An additional benefit to shopping at the farmers market is that you get to indulge in the visual feast. It is only at farmers markets that you get to see a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, food products and even flowers blooming in season. You can even get homemade fruit preserves and jams, as well as a range of delicatessen products, such as homemade cheese, sausages, bread and so on. Even if you do not buy all of them, you’ll get a visual feel of how much food in so many varieties your local area can produce.
- Prepare Tastier Meals
Once you arrive home from shopping on a nice farmers market day, you will feel great about yourself knowing that you learned a thing or two from the community, shared meaningful conversation with friendly strangers, and supported people’s livelihoods and a good cause. On top of that, you get to prepare a tasty and nutritious meal for you and your family. Plus, with the variety of produce you have, you can experiment on new recipes.
Although most of the produce you get at the farmers market is clean and fresh, it does not mean that they don’t carry bacteria and germs. Bear in mind that before you picked up those fruits and vegetables, other hands may have touched them as well. Make sure you wash those vegetables first before you put them in the pan for consumption, so you don’t get sick. Make sure you contact your trusted Santa Ana urgent care provider once you or any family member shows symptoms after eating the produce.
If you have no time to cook, you can dine in one of restaurants in the area. Most of these restaurants serve produce directly from Downtown Santa Ana Farmers’ Market. You get to taste and experience the freshest flavors of California.
Farmers’ Market, http://www.downtown-santaana.com
Research-Based Support and Extension Outreach for Local Food Systems, http://www.cefs.ncsu.edu
The Economic Impact of Shopping at Farmers Markets, http://www.sfu.ca
Farmers Markets, http://www.nutrition.gov