Erie Basin Monthly News Article
Buy Local - Visit Your Farmers' Market Today
Family and Consumer Sciences Educator
Ohio State University Extension
A great place to visit is your local Farmers' Market. Erie Basin, a group of Extension personnel in a ten county region, have been busy developing research-based educational materials and marketing to encourage folks to shop their local farmers' markets.
At your Farmers' Market you can find foods that are not available in all grocery stores. Additionally, you can have fun with friends and family at your market. Some markets have cooking demonstrations, festivals, or Master Gardeners available to answer questions.
A huge benefit is getting food that is really fresh. Since the food is grown locally, it didn't have to travel long distances to reach the market. The produce that was recently picked not only tastes better, but keeps longer, too. Sometimes the growers are at the market, making it possible to get to know the people involved in growing your foods.
A benefit to the economy can also be reaped by purchasing produce and other items at the market. If every Ohio household spent $10.00 weekly on Ohio-produced food, approximately $50,798,730 would stay in the local economy.*
A few really good buys that supply nutritionally loaded foods include potatoes, spinach and blueberries. A potato, if eaten with the skin on, can supply almost one-half of the daily Vitamin C needed. Potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc are also available in the potato. Sweet potatoes or yams also supply beta carotene or Vitamin A.
Spinach has more than 20 different nutrients including some of the powerhouses such as fiber, calcium and protein. This is all at just 40 calories per cup. Finally, blueberries have many antioxidants and fiber. They are great for smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt and even eaten by the handful.
* Based on the 2009 U.S. Census Bureau