Shop the Farmers Market for Fresh Finds

What better way to take advantage of summer’s bounty than a visit to a local farmers market?

This summer, do your grocery shopping outside and search your local farmers market for nutrient-rich foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. Many markets also sell organic foods, which are grown without the use of most conventional pesticides.

Should I buy organic? When you get fruits and vegetables at the peak of the growing season, when produce is at its freshest and tastes best, you don’t need to buy organic. And because you’re buying foods that are in season, they can be cheaper than out-of-season produce.

To get the most from your market visit, check out these great tips:

  • Check the schedule and hours of operation before you go. Go early, when the selection is best. You know what they say about the early bird!
  • Bring enough reusable bags to keep raw and cooked foods separate, for food safety’s sake.
  • Take foods home right away or ask to have them packed in ice so that they don’t spoil. If you have a long drive home, keep a cooler in your car to transport the produce you buy.
  • Ask the grower for the best way to store the produce and items you bought. They may even offer serving suggestions and recipes.
  • Branch out. Try a new fruit or vegetable that you haven’t had before. Select colorful produce — it’s often the healthiest. If you have little ones, let them choose some foods.
  • Buy fresh-cut produce, such as melon slices, only if it’s in a cooler or on ice to lower the risk of food poisoning.
  • Always keep tomatoes, garlic, potatoes and onions at room temperature.

  • When you get home, be sure to rinse all fruits and vegetables with running water. This helps remove bacteria better than soaking.
  • Scrub tough-skinned produce like melons, potatoes and carrots with a vegetable brush.

How do you support local and shop organic?

Need help locating a local market? Visit the United States Agriculture Department's website to find a farmer’s market near you.

Visit the United States Department of Agriculture website to find a farmers market near you.
Sources: letsmove.gov, Agricultural Marketing Service, Washington State University Extension

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