Visit a farmers market and enjoy our local bounty
By Helaine Krasner, MS, RDN, CSOWM, CDN
We are fortunate to live on Long Island where there are many local farms. Some of these farms sell their products directly to consumers at various farmers markets.
One benefit of eating fruits and vegetables from a local farmers market is that the produce is at its freshest with peak flavor! Much of the fruits and vegetables available at your local store have traveled great distances, sometimes from across the world. After they are delivered they may go on to linger for several days prior to purchase and then may sit for several more days prior to being consumed. Once produce is harvested it immediately starts to lose nutrient value and flavor. Many vitamins and antioxidants are vulnerable to degradation upon exposure to oxygen and light. Less time from farm to table means more nutritional benefits and better taste!
Shopping at a farmers market provides an excellent opportunity to try something new. The local vendor may provide a sample to taste along with some recipe ideas. Some farmers markets feature products from certified organic farms. Organic farming is an agriculture system that does not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, does not use genetically modified seeds, and supports sustainable land use. If you’re interested in organic produce, a farmers market is an ideal place to purchase those products at peak freshness and at an affordable price. Just as with regular produce and sometimes even more so, organic items may linger on store shelves leading to decreased nutritional value and flavor. In addition, organic produce is often more expensive, so purchasing directly from a farmers market is a smart way to get more value for your money.
Regardless of whether or not you’re looking for organic fruits and vegetables a farmers market is a great place to get a wide variety of the best produce Long Island has to offer and supports our local economy. Selection will vary throughout the harvest season.
There are more than 30 farmers markets across Long Island – including in Port Jefferson every Sunday through November 18, 2022, from 9 am-2 pm at Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park –so no matter where you live fresh local produce is only a short distance away. They are typically open from May to October. Cornell Cooperative Extension provides a listing of farmers market locations in Suffolk County.
Check the details for more information. http://ccesuffolk.org/community-education/fmnp-2021-farmers-markets-in-suffolk-county
Benefits of Shopping at a Farmers Market
- Fruits and vegetables are at peak freshness and flavor
- Buying local supports the local economy
- Products may be less expensive
- Opportunity to meet a real farmer
Helaine Krasner, MS, RDN, CSOWM, CDN Helaine is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who takes great pride in helping our Bariatric and Medical Weight Management patients achieve their health and weight loss goals.