How-To Navigate Your Local Farmers’ Market
We’re encouraged to eat local, organic produce. Where better to get this fresh food than your local farmers’ market? Our friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run are helping us navigate the markets with ease!
by June Lupiani, RD, Nutrition Leader at Green Mountain at Fox Run
Looking for a great way to get comfortable with spending a weekend morning at your local farmers’ market? Look no further than your senses!
Using your senses is a way of being mindful so that you don’t need to play by someone else’s rules on what and how to eat. That’s important because someone else’s rules don’t always work that well for everyone. In fact, that’s what’s behind the 95 percent failure rate of weight loss diets.
Here is how we encourage our participants at Green Mountain at Fox Run to use their senses to discover the foods that truly support them in feeling great.
One of the first sounds that you might encounter at your local market is the music being played by a favorite local band. This is a great way to check out local music without the loud late night bar scene, outside in the fresh air and sunlight.
Another way your sense of sound can help guide you is by listening to the person selling you food. That person you hand the money to is very likely the farmer that grew what you’re buying from seed and harvested it yesterday. So talk to them! Ask questions and listen to what they have to say. You can learn a lot from a farmer. Hear them talk about growing seasons and what to expect in the upcoming weeks so you can get your recipes and appetite ready.
Look around you!
Make it a point to find the biggest swath of color you can when purchasing your produce because this is a very simple and beautiful way to eat more nutritiously. Bring a big basket and make it a point to fill it with as much color as you can cram in there.
At a farmers’ market, you won’t find onions and potatoes prepackaged in weighed and measured sacks or your veggies like green beans and spinach sealed up in a plastic bag. It’s all out in the open so that you can touch it!
You can get up close and personal to pick what really looks good to you. Hand pick your cherries, your berries, and your fingerling potatoes. Expect to get some earth on you when choosing your beets and other root veggies since they were likely just pulled from the ground yesterday.
One of the highlights of the farmers’ market is the ability to taste test lots of goodies available for purchase. Taste is the number one reason people eat the foods they do, so buy what tastes good to you. You’ll much more likely end up eating it rather than having it rot in the fridge.
First things first, find the fromager, or cheese maker, and nibble on some of the cheese samples they have out for you. Next, do a taste test on the asparagus you’re considering purchasing and if you brought the kids, find the people from the local orchard because they’re likely giving out apples to anyone under 10.
Your sense of smell can help guide you to the meal that you will eat while strolling along watching your community gather as you listen to great music.
You will first smell the aromatics of the coffee that is roasting, so go and get yourself a fresh cup. Then, through use of your olfactory nerves, find your way to the pastry stand where you can get a fresh, hot pastry.
Or instead, maybe you’re ready for lunch. Check out the ethnic delights you can find, made with care by people who know their cuisine. Even smell those fresh veggies to whet your appetite for dinner. You decide. It’s all there for the choosing.
At Green Mountain we recommend bringing all your senses into play each time you eat and during food selection, too. It’s you tapping into your own wisdom about eating that can guide you in getting what you need for good health. Our senses are a highly developed and very sophisticated part of survival. So don’t underrate them.