This week my neighborhood got its first ever certified farmer’s market! I am beside myself with joy! I love farmer’s markets. Why, you ask?
1. I am supporting my local economy by buying seasonal food grown by farmers in my area. There is no reason to eat produce that is not in season. Everyone used to eat seasonally, because that was what was available to you. If you grew your own produce you would preserve the extra so you could have those peaches and tomatoes in the winter.
2. When you buy locally grown food it is FRESH! No shipping and trucking from another hemisphere, which greatly reduces the carbon footprint. It also means the produce is picked when it is ripe, not before it is ripe. Which means it tastes great, or rather it tastes like it is SUPPOSED to taste!
3. Organic produce is everywhere, and the prices are very competitive with grocery stores. I try and eat organic food as often as I can, and farmer’s markets make this possible.
Why organic? The amount of pesticides in our food is startling! Many cancer causing pesticides have been banned in the USA, but those same pesticides are sold to the countries that we import food from! So when you buy those grapes from Chile you are exposing yourself and your family to those cancer causing pesticides that are illegal here.
My daughter’s Godmother is Mexican-American. While growing up my friend’s mother, aunts and uncles all worked in the fields picking produce when they weren’t in school. There were seven siblings, but now all but two have died of cancer, due to their exposure to all those pesticides when they were young. A whole generation almost wiped out. That is all the evidence I need to limit my child’s exposure as much as I can.
4. You find amazing local artisans offering jams and jellies, breads, hand crafted soaps, cheeses, olive oil, flowers and so much more!
This sign says it all. Why buy imported when you can buy quality while supporting your local economy?
5. And lets not forget the prepared food! I LOVE pupusas, which are a Salvadorian treat of masa dough filled with a variety of meats, beans and cheese. Depending on where you live, you are going to find your local foods showcased at a farmer’s market.
6. When you shop at a local farmer’s market you are part of a community. I ran into old friends while there, and I know I will make new friends.
And last but not least, this is the man of the hour, Joseph Shuldiner. He worked so hard to get the Altadena Farmer’s Market going, and I am proud to call him my friend. I will be supporting this market, and I hope you will support your local farmer’s markets too!