Can Farmers Save you Money and Health?
Lessons from the Farmer Market
By Aris Akavan, ACE CPT, BS MIS
Few years ago in Honduras I saw a bag of nuts in shells and wondered what kind of nut the shell contained. The shell did not look familiar to me but what was inside did… an almond. I am kind of embarrassed to admit that I had no idea that almonds come in a shell. Did you know that almonds come in a shell? That experience made me realize that when buying from big chain stores the food appearance is altered to make it more appealing to the buyer, whether esthetically or functionally, as in this case. If I was buying my food from the farmers market, instead of a big grocery store, I would have probably seen that almonds in its natural way come in a shell.
Health Benefits of Local Grown Food
If you want to eat healthier, save money and even help the local economy buy food that is grown locally. Eating local grown food will benefits you as the food is fresher and hence it will last longer, it has less pesticides and preservatives, and with more flavor it will be easier to get your daily intake of fruit and vegetables. Moreover, you get organic food without organic prices. And the exciting part is that you might find new vegetables and fruits that you and your family will enjoy as the farmer market offers a wider selection of fresh produce and they allow tasting before purchasing.
Clearly grocery stores are more convenient and provide items that are non seasonal in your state but if you factor in the pesticide, the higher price, the nutritious value, the taste and quality, the higher chance of a food borne illnesses outbreak and the fact the food was picked when unripe, then the price on your health might not be such a bargain. Farmers travel close to their farms to sell their products therefore the food they sell is 5 times more energy efficient than foods that traveled a long distance.
Lessons for the Family at the Farmer Market
Take the family to the fresh market and make it a learning experience. Instead of having to read labels you have an opportunity to ask the seller questions on how it was produced, what the various items are and ideas on how to use them. Show your kids that there can be more than 10 different kinds of tomatoes, that almonds come in a shell, and explain that carrots can be orange, purple or even white and that they grow underground.
Besides getting healthier food you will also get a workout as you will be walking more than at the grocery store. Find out where the closest farmer market is and assist your local growers in the ability to provide you products that will give you energy and the body and health you strive for.
About the Author
Aris Akavan, ACE certified Personal Trainer & Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach, is owner of Body Fitness by Aris. Her mission is to assist others in leading a healthier lifestyle by balancing exercise and proper eating habits to achieve the ultimate body & mind wellness. Aris leads by example as she practices what she preaches. She leads an alcohol free and smoke free lifestyle and has worked out while following proper nutrition practices for over 10 years. In the last few years she also started participating in 5k races, adventure runs and triathlons. You can visit Aris at any of her following:
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