Shop Seasonally and Safely at Farmers Markets
The weekend’s here, the sun is out, and the farmers market is open. Shopping seasonal produce is a great way to spend a morning while supporting local growers. But did you know that there a few things you can do to make it even healthier? Check our recommended guidelines for safe and seasonal shopping below.
This may seem obvious, but the best way to get the most out of summer produce is to shop seasonally. A general rule for what’s in season in the summer is to look for bright, colorful fruits and vegetables. Think bell peppers, berries, corn, eggplant, stone fruit, tomatoes and melons. Check out the USDA’s full list of what’s in season here.
Check the news.
Occasionally, some foods can carry germs that cause illness or disease. For example, in April of 2018 the CDC announced that romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region could be contaminated with E. coli. Be sure to check the CDC Current Outbreak List for up-to-date information.
Proper protection is a must, especially if you’ll be perusing your local market in morning or midday sun. In addition to wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen, grab a hat and sunglasses to help protect your eyes and face from too much sunlight.
Rinse before eating.
Unlike produce found at a grocery store, many of the fruits and vegetables at farmer’s markets haven’t been washed before being displayed. Plus, open-air produce is exposed to the environment and handled by several people. That’s why it’s always a good idea to give that peach or pear a rinse before taking a bite.
Depending on how long you’ll be out, some farmer’s market finds are best kept cool. Pack a cooler in the trunk of your car or bring insulated bags for easily perishable items like fresh meat and seafood. Once at home, be sure to properly store your food in the refrigerator or pantry. Check out these tips to ensure your healthy food lasts longer.