Holistic benefits of farmers market shopping

When you go grocery shopping do you ever stop to think where the produce came from? We often think of values being applied to our work and social environments. However, they can also be applied when it comes to grocery shopping. Taking time to stop and think about our values as consumers is key to the choices that we make. As consumers, we can choose where to spend our money and what this means to us as families and individuals.  


The marketing approaches of the large grocery stores can influence us with alluring offers of ‘two for the price of one’ or ‘buy two get one free’. These often result in people looking more at quantity than quality. However, this can also result in wastage as we know that about 30% of produce bought by Canadian households is being thrown away https://lovefoodhatewaste.ca/about/food-waste/ This is not just a waste of food, but also our hard-earned money. Not only that, but most of the produce found in large grocery stores has often travelled many, many miles before reaching the store. The handling of the produce is sometimes a little rough leaving it bruised and browned; it then sits on grocery store shelves for several days before even making it into to your kitchen, where it might sit in the fridge for a few more days. We know that food starts to lose nutrients the minute it is picked, so we must wonder how much nutritional value we are getting from the store-bought produce.  


However, when we buy local produce the freshness and quality are unmistakable. I have apples in my fridge from Hall's Apple Market that I bought over three weeks ago, and they are still fresh and crunchy. The timeline for the local produce, from farm to table is often just a few days. We know that the nutrient value of foods grown locally far outweighs that which you find in your local grocery store.  This can have beneficial effects on your health, as these fresh nutrients are readily available for your body to make use of when you eat that produce. These nutrients play a vital role in maintaining good health and supporting our bodies in all their daily activities. The produce also has so much more flavour and texture, which makes the whole cooking and meal experience more fun and meals tastier – Simply put, food will taste as food should.  


With regards to individuals who have health concerns such as food intolerance or allergies, being able to talk directly with the vendor is so reassuring, instead of having to rely on a label, which is not always correct. Trying to get a coherent answer from someone in the store can also be tricky at times. We are also supporting local businesses and families, which can help to build stronger communities that can pull together and help each other out when needed. With the environment being of concern for many people, buying local produce most definitely helps to reduce our carbon footprint, especially with the option of home delivery, making our lives even easier. 


For any nutrition and lifestyle questions please contact me at susan@susanalsembach.com 


Thank you,


Susan Alsembach RHNsusanalsembach.com
613 620 3249