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Be Smart, Eat Well, Get Healthy

Why Shop at a Farmer's Market?


It’s fresh. It’s healthy. It’s fun. And it’s good for the local economy! With food recalls in the news frequently, it’s never been more important to know where your food comes from. Stop and think about this for a minute; you know your doctor and your mail carrier, but do you know your farmer? It’s easy when you are a frequent shopper at your local Farmers Market. Not sure how to prepare a particular piece of produce? Ask the farmer! Wondering how to store or preserve an item? Ask the person who grew it. 

Food offered for sale at a farmers market is at it’s peak of flavor and nutrition. Our tastebuds have been numbed by the “no season” produce offered at our grocery stores now. You can purchase any variety of fruit or vegetable any day of the year. These products have lost both nutrition (up to 45%* ) and taste in their (on average) 1500 mile trip from the field to your grocery cart. This summer try an experiment. Purchase a clamshell of strawberries at the grocery store and then go to the Farmers Market and purchase a quart of strawberries from the farmer. Taste and compare….do this with any type of fruit or vegetable available at your market and you will be astonished at the flavor or lack thereof. There is nothing like a fresh, truly ripe _________(insert your favorite fruit or veggies here). 

What about the local economy? To put it simply, the farmer receives around $.16 for every $1.00 spent at the grocery store, compared to the entire $1.00 at the Farmers Market. The more local produce you purchase, the greater the influence on the economy. For example, a 20-percent increase in local food production and purchasing could yield an estimated $20 Billion in economic activity in the state of Illinois. *

Shopping tips:

  • Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes
  • Bring cash, a reusable bag, and a cooler 
  • Know the season—Do not go to a farmer's market in Illinois expecting tomatoes in May or pumpkins in July.
  • Do not expect uniform size in produce.
  • Heirloom varieties are often not found in the supermarket; they might look different but the taste is often superb! 

Enjoy the best food at a reasonable price and improve your health and the local economy---now that’s a win win! 

To find a market near you go to:


*Institute for Food Research; The Land