When you are out at the Farmer’s Market, get to know your farmer. Ask pointed questions, find out if they have an open door policy (can you tour anytime), are they certified organic or do they go beyond organic (beyond organic is a philosophy that USDA organic isn’t enough). If you are a meat eater, find local farmers and arrange direct meat purchase (our plan is every 3 months because we have decent storage space). Some meats we find locally: tuna (which we can ourselves), bison, chicken, beef. Prices average $3.00-$4.00/lb, so this also encourages us to use less meat. For our family of 7 + 3 daycare kiddos, we have meat packaged in 1 lb sizes to ensure we don’t get meat crazy. :) You can probably find local eggs at the farmers market, this usually saves you money and supports small, local farms.
Here are some tips to help you navigate healthier, local eating.
If you are an iPhone user, download the GG application for a hands on tool to use at the market.
Sustainable Table provides a directory, just type in your zip code for listings local to you. When I entered my zip code and a 50 mile radius, I see: 1 ranch, 10 bakers, 4 co-ops, 73 farmers, 1 community garden, 1 CSA, 92 restaurants and much more!
Food and Water Watch provides news and information about our agriculture and water. There are links for great food and meal ideas. Want the scoop on seafood or why we should ditch bottled water? They’ve got it.
The USDA has a guide of local farmers markets. Simply enter the State and City you would like to locate markets in.
Eat Well. Be Well.
Photo Credit: Spring Vegetables by Muffet at Flickr under Creative Commons License.