Here's Why You Should Visit More Farmers’ Markets
Posted in: LOCAL
There's nothing quite like a sunny day at the farmers’ market. Local growers gather together to offer the best and the freshest local ingredients direct to the public. You can also find all kinds of hand-crafted products and gifts. From honey to soap to produce, the farmers’ market is a great place to be.
Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Farmers’ Markets
When you walk through a farmers’ market, it is a completely different experience from going round your local supermarket. Produce options are fresher, more vibrant and more beneficial to your health. You begin to connect with people in your community as you aim to improve the environment. It truly is a great place to be.
Here are some additional reasons why you should check out your local farmers’ market:
Seasonal is everything: If you are planning to utilise the freshest ingredients possible, you need to shop in season. Did you know the tomatoes you buy in the supermarket may have been harvested up to six months ago? They're stored, then ripened artificially, which reduces their flavour and nutritional content. But when you go to the farmers’ market, you're going to find produce that is in season. This is much healthier; it’s also fun to watch the seasons change. Sweetcorn is a prime example of a summer ingredient, for example, while pumpkins are associated with the autumn.
Support local farmers: You know what they say: farmers feed cities. It's important that you support the smaller, local family farms. Farming has drastically changed over the years, as more and more farms are run like factories to meet the demands and standards set by our major supermarket chains. When you buy produce direct from the farmer, you're essentially helping your local community. Buying local ingredients is so important, not only for the farmer, but for the environment as well.
Help the environment: Buying local supports the environment. In the United States, food travels a staggering 1,500 miles on average before reaching a resident’s home. That is mind-boggling, as transporting these items uses large amounts of natural resources, while contributing to air and water pollution. Your local farmer doesn’t need to travel far and is more likely to use farming methods that minimise the total impact on our planet.
Boost flavour and nutrients: As mentioned, the farmers’ market offers the freshest produce. Fruits and vegetables are able to ripen naturally, improving both the overall flavour and the nutritional value. Instead of being stored for months, fresh produce is typically picked directly before the market. Local family farmers also tend to utilise more sustainable farming methods, which reduce your exposure to hormones, pesticides, genetic modification and antibiotics.
Get creative: The kitchen is a fun and exciting place, allowing your creativity to run wild. If you enjoy cooking, the farmers’ market is paradise. There are so many unique ingredients which may be hard to find at the supermarket. Whether you're looking for stinging nettles for tea, purple cauliflower for your food photography or rainbow carrots, the farmers’ market is the place to be.
Re-connect with your food: Unfortunately we have largely lost our connection to the foods we consume. When you microwave a frozen meal, you have no clue where any of those ingredients came from. When you purchase food from the farmers’ market, however, you know exactly where it came from. If you're buying meat, you can ask questions regarding how those animals were raised. Get to know your local farmers, as it will make your trips to the farmers’ market that much more rewarding.
Support humane treatment: Often the meat that you purchase at the farmers’ market supports and promotes the humane treatment of animals. Cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens have usually been allowed freedom to graze in their natural habitats. Respecting the needs of the animal in this way leads to healthier cuts of meat for us too.
Connecting with locals: When the sun is shining, the farmers’ market can attract all kinds of people. Farmers’ markets are a great place for locals to connect as they build on their community. It’s a perfect opportunity to meet people who are passionate about the same things that you are.
Farmers’ Markets in the London Area
Big cities have some of the best farmers’ markets, allowing city people to connect with their local farmers. Before we focus on some of the local markets in London, let's examine the types of items and food you can buy:
- Meat: You can purchase beef, pork, lamb and chicken, which come from high-welfare farms. Some farmers will even cut their meat for you on site. You will also find fresh fish and shellfish, caught directly off the east and south coasts, and wild game in season.
- Honey: You will find local London honey, as well as a wide variety of preserves made from local ingredients.
- Produce: Based on the time of year, you will find all kinds of fresh local produce. Considering it is often picked directly before the market, fruits and vegetables taste incredible. Whether you're looking for fresh cherries in July or pears in September, there's always a wide selection.
- Prepared Foods: You can find local food that has already been prepared for you. Homemade pasta and homemade soups are just a couple of examples of pre-made meals, made with fresh local ingredients.
- Bread: You can find breads for all tastes and needs. If you're looking for gluten-free bread, that's not a problem. Local artisan bakers provide a wide selection.
- Eggs: Free-range and organic eggs are available.
- Dairy: You can even find award-winning cheeses at the farmers’ market.
There are so many farmers’ markets available in the London area that you can visit a new one each week! Once you start buying local produce you'll begin to have a new appreciation for your food and where it comes from. For a full list of London's markets, please refer to this list.
MYC Writer: MYC ContributorSubscribe to UpdatesRelated Articles