Shout-Out Post Number Four: Tips From My Fellow RDs About Making The Most Of Your Farmer's Market Visit!
This week, August 5-11th,is National Farmer’s Market Week so I thought it would be fitting to write a post highlighting farmer’s markets including some great tips and information from a few fellow RDs in the Food and Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group I belong to, a group Dietitian Shout-Out post per se :) Farmer’s Markets are on the rise, according to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Website “direct marketing of farm products through farmers markets continues to be an important sales outlet for agricultural producers nationwide. As of mid-2011, there were 7,175 farmers markets operating throughout the U.S. This is a 17 percent increase from 2010.” Luckily there is increased interest in obtaining foods locally, directly from the farm and I think the USDA website states the purpose of a farmer’s market best: “Farmers markets allow consumers to have access to locally grown, farm fresh produce, enables farmers the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with their customers, and cultivate consumer loyalty with the farmers who grows the produce.”
I wholeheartedly admit that I NEED to visit my local farmer’s market more often, and this is one of my goals this year. I picked up a couple of nice suggestions and some key information about making the most of a farmers market visit from a few of my RD colleagues too! Karen K. Ehrens, RD, LRD of Ehrens Consulting makes an important point- “I think one of the greatest things folks can get from a market is meeting the producers and the folks at the market. Shopping a farmers market is so much more than just a transaction of dollars. It is an opportunity to know from where your food comes and the people who are growing it. You can learn so much about the seed, the care, the time and the challenges of growing food. If your growers are still at market, you are lucky. The drought affecting 65% of the United States is also taking a toll on small produce growers. If you go, thank your grower!” Carrie Peacock MS, RD, LD, a Culinary Dietitian suggests “ask the farmer when the food was picked or harvested and if they have any favorite recipes.” Toby Amidor, MS RD CDN, of Toby Amidor Nutrition, has some AWESOME tips for navigating the farmer’s market, click HERE to check out the post on her blog including how to pick the best produce and some great food safety info too! And for additional important information on food safety at the farmers' market, HERE is a wonderful recent post on the Food Network’s Healthy Eats Blog by Dana Angelo White, MS RD ATC, Nutrition Consultant Certified Athletic Trainer. Need some inspiration for what to do with all the great produce you pick up? Go the veggies section of my blog for some easy recipes! Many of my dessert recipes feature some great fruits as well!!