Buying your produce at your local farmers' market is beneficial in many ways. Here's why:
Locally purchased produce usually gets to your plate within 24 hours of harvest, maximizing on nutrients and taste.
- vegetables lose up to 45% of their nutritional value between harvest and the grocery store
- one day after harvest, spinach has lost 50-90% of its vitamin C
- one week after harvest, beans have lost 50% of their nutrients
- many veggies and fruits purchased in stores are low in phytonutrients
- sadly, many store-bought fruits and veggies have been bred to maximize sweet and reduce bitter at the cost of nutrient density (many phytonutrients are bitter)
- buying from the local farmers’ market instead of the grocery store reduces the distance traveled from harvest and is therefore a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
- 6 to 12 percent of money spent on non-local food is just for transportation cost
- buying at the market often guarantees that the food is regionally in season and hasn’t had to travel great distances
Most importantly, buying from the market allows you to speak with the farmer who grew your food.
Vegetable/ Fruit Prep Tips
- eat vegetables raw; but if you are cooking them, do so quickly (asparagus, green beans, broccoli, snow peas) - vitamin B and C are destroyed easily by heat
- if you must cook them, try steaming vegetables instead of boiling them to retain nutrients
- save water from cooking vegetables for soups – there’s water-soluble vitamins and minerals in the water
- avoid soaking thick-skinned vegetables and fruits; some vitamins dissolve in water
- leave edible skins on fruits and vegetables (carrots, potatoes, pears), most vitamins and minerals are found in the outer leaves, skin, and just below the skin; keeping the skin on a baked potato doubles its fiber count!
by The Stumptown Kid
Institute of Food Research
“Food, Fuel, and Freeways” Rich Pirog et. al.
American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide
“Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food” – Nytimes 5/25/2013