- Author: Katie (Cathryn) R Johnson
Published on: August 27, 2020
One of the best ways to improve our health is to eat more fruits and vegetables. Many people know this, but it's often one of the most difficult changes we can make in our daily habits, especially since fresh fruits and vegetables are highly perishable and can be difficult to keep stocked on a regular basis. One way to make sure we keep fruits and veggies readily available is to preserve or buy them in frozen, dried, or canned forms. As long as these products don't have large amounts of added sugar or salt, this is a good way to keep more healthy foods available to incorporate into all our meals.
Another way to keep fruits and vegetables well-stocked in our kitchens is to buy them regularly from local sources. Usually, fresh produce purchased from local growers has been picked very recently and hasn't aged much during transportation or storage. It's also usually picked when ripe, and is often so delicious and beautiful we naturally want to eat more of it. When we buy locally, we also contribute to a thriving local economy and the preservation of land for agriculture.
For these reasons, frequenting a local farmers market is one of the healthiest habits we can develop. It allows us to make a connection to our food and with local growers, and to take home the most nutritious, freshest produce possible - often at very competitive prices. In the Central Sierra, most farmers markets also accept CalFresh EBT benefits and WIC farmers market coupons, although there are a few exceptions. Many markets will even double CalFresh EBT purchase amounts through the Market Match program.
Wondering when and where your local markets are happening, whether they accept EBT, or what measures they're taking to adapt to COVID-19? Visit the Farmers Market Finder, hosted by the Ecology Center, where all certified farmers markets in California are easily viewable on a map. Information is available for each market on schedules, directions, what benefits are accepted, and links to the markets' websites for more information about the markets and their COVID-19 procedures.
If you're looking to incorporate more produce into your life, take advantage of the wonderful farmers markets located in the Central Sierra and enjoy the late summer bounty!
Public Value: UCANR: Promoting healthy people and communities