I love to go to the farmer’s market for a number of reasons. I obviously like buying healthy, tasty food but I also often run into friends and get a little Vitamin D. Strolling down the aisle on Saturday, I noticed the different names and labels people use to advertise themselves and their products. I admit being a little confused about whether someone was selling organic or not and a little skeptical (I may be prone to this by nature). Just because someone is selling a product at the Farmer’s Market does not necessary mean it’s organic, for instance, although I think I fool myself into thinking that sometimes. Not that I eat everything organic, but I try to be conscious and knowledgeable about the food I put into my body and how it affects me and my environment. And when I shop the Farmer’s Market I am making an effort to do the right thing for both.
What I discovered is this–to really know what’s in your food, even at the farmer’s market, you have to ask a lot of questions. Not all the produce is organic and local doesn’t always mean better for you. To help consumers better navigate local markets, Melinda Hemmelgarn, has prepared a short list of common areas of confusion, a few personal examples, and strategies to help you purchase exactly what you think you want to buy. Read here to find out more about what the names “local, sustainable, natural, and free range” mean http://www.stonyfield.com/blog/2012/06/18/greenwash-at-the-green-market/. By the way, Melinda is a local Columbia, MO, food guru, registered dietitian, “investigative” nutritionist, and award-winning journalist, with 30 years’ experience in clinical, academic and public health nutrition. I trust her!