ART LIVES HERE

Creative Life in the Gateway Arts District

Jenni Jackson Advocates for Farmers Markets

Opinions listed below are those of reader, Jenni Jackson, and not necessarily shared or supported by all the Art Lives Here partners. For more information on the Gateway CDC Route 1 Farmers Market and Bazaar please click here. If you’re interested in doing a guest blog post for Art Lives Here please click here to e-mail Neena. 

Contributed by Reader, Jenni Jackson

Reasons to Love Your Local Farmer’s Market

In this world of factory farming, genetically modified crops and antibiotic pumped cattle, going to your local farmer’s market has never been more appealing. Similarly, getting the word out about the quality of fresh produce available and the health benefits of eating goods purchased from your local farmer’s market has never been more important – particularly in light of recent news concerning animal welfare standards.  The fact is that more and more consumers are choosing to purchase food and fresh produce from their local farmer’s market and it is very easy to see why.  The Route 1 Farmers Market Bazaar offers visitors a chance to discover a range of healthy and nutritious organic produce, all locally grown and all guaranteed to help boost vitality and overall wellbeing.  So what makes people start (and continue) buying groceries directly from the farmer’s market? Is it just the remit of the environmentally aware brigade or is it a home just for true ‘foodies’ who enjoy eating quality food at good prices?  This post aims to highlight the best aspects of local farmer’s markets whilst suggesting that everyone can enjoy a boost to their health and vitality by opting to buy their groceries from local suppliers.

Photo by Route 1 Farmers Market & Bazaar - Gateway CDC

Photo by Route 1 Farmers Market & Bazaar – Gateway CDC

Animal Welfare Should Concern Us All

According to Food and Water Watch.org, the environmental impact of factory farming in America is devastating. Not only are animals huddled into confined spaces and pumped full of medications to aid unnatural growth, such practices are exposing the consumer to a range of diseases including E.coli and salmonella. The animals are prone to contracting diseases and the excessive amounts of manure generated and fertilizer used can cause long term damage to local ecosystems. That’s the bad news – but luckily, there is plenty of good news concerning animal welfare in America, too and that’s largely down to consumers shopping at farmer’s markets. The American Farmland Trust advise that the consistent use of farmer’s markets is helping to safeguard America’s natural agricultural land whilst helping provide economic assistance to local families and communities. Likewise, according to the Farmer’s Market Authority, the very notion of ‘family farming’ is being challenged (and defeated) by widespread factory farming so accessing your local farmer’s market really is one of the only ways in which consumers can ensure they are getting high quality produce which hasn’t been doctored or modified through factory farming methods.

Photo by the Theater Tech Program

Photo by the Theater Tech Program

Eating Organic Market Produce Boosts Health and Vitality – Fact

So, you might have made up your mind that you are definitely going to pay a visit to your local farmer’s market and you might even have an idea of the kind of produce you are looking to buy. If so great – it’s a step towards supporting your local community and stemming the damage caused by factory farming methods. Equally as importantly, however, are the associated health benefits which occur as a direct result of eating a nutritious, well balanced, organic diet. Interestingly, the Mayo Clinic suggest that a natural and organic diet reduces the number of harmful and addictive additives ingested by the individual and this is invariably helpful when detoxifying in conjunction with a specific treatment or rehabilitation program, such as those detailed by Drugtreatment.com. Likewise, Beyond Pesticides.org argue that a diet based around organic produce instantly provides multiple health benefits because the consumer is no longer exposed to the toxins associated with pesticide use. Similarly, according to Toxic Action.org, repeated pesticide exposure has been linked with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children and headaches, nausea and even cancer in adults. So, with this in mind, it stands to reason that if pesticide use causes health problems, ingesting a nutritious organic pesticide free diet will certainly boost vitality.  Organic Facts.net advise that organic milk contains greater numbers of cancer fighting antioxidants and organically grown tomatoes are also known to have far greater antioxidant properties than their pesticide covered counterparts.

Photo by the Theater Tech Program

Photo by the Theater Tech Program

What Produce Should I Buy from My Local Farmer’s Market

This question is relatively easy to answer. As well as the obvious options like anti-oxidant packed tomatoes and delicious fresh milk, Organic Gardening.com recommend sourcing a variety of other products whilst you are at the market. Carrots, berries, onions and fresh meat are all excellent options and shouldn’t set your wallet back too badly either. Plus, consumers can purchase delicious food safe in the knowledge that their money is going to help a local family, a local community and a local livelihood – instead of feeding corporate giants – and nobody can argue with that.

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About neenajoe

Joe’s Movement Emporium is a cultural arts hub that acts as a catalyst for creativity and economic opportunity for all through productions and programs in education, artist services and work readiness. Located in the town center of Mount Rainier, Maryland within the Prince George’s County Gateway Arts District, the organization supports and promotes creative projects of local artists and community groups. For additional information on programs and events, please visit www.joesmovement.org

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