When I think about farmers markets, I envision the bustling, happy experience I had when I was in small-town Washington.
Orange leaves were scattered across the semipaved dirt ground as families went from table to table buying anything from arugula to artwork. Boy, was it a surreal experience.
I relive this pleasant experience every time I’m at farmers markets around the downtown Phoenix area.
I see the same vision, only with slight modifications. I see the vibrant downtown community composed of ASU students, young professionals and families engrossed in the urban lifestyle, all intermingling in the name of consumerism — but there’s something different about this consumerism.
Investing in items from farmers markets is very different from investing in items from your average grocery store. Not only do you buy veggies and other organic products that are naturally grown without the perils of preservatives, you also nurture your community and your neighbors by supporting them financially.
In the downtown Phoenix area, the Phoenix Public Market provides the most accessible farmers market for students and has quite a few key items that could enhance your health greatly.
Here’s a list of healthy items you can find at the Phoenix Public Market farmers market:
- Free-Range Eggs: Eggs produced from chickens that are allowed to roam have less fat and cholesterol than the average egg and also provide extra vitamin A, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Local Honey: Honey produced from bees in your local area contains pollen specific to your area of residence, providing increased defense against seasonal allergens that could hijack your winter experience. Downtown Devil’s HERBan Explorer even did a feature on local honey you can find at the Public Market farmers market.
- Organic Produce: Studies have shown that organic fruits and vegetables contain more vitamin C, trace minerals and antioxidants than the average spread of produce. Also, less pesticides are used on these vegetables.
- Organic Dairy: Organic dairy is known to contain higher levels of vitamin E, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and beneficial fats.
While investing in items from the farmers market can be slightly more expensive at times, it’s definitely worth it when it comes to the health benefits they provide. The most profound benefit you can reap from products produced and grown locally is the significant lack of extra chemicals and preservatives masking the produce in the grocery stores.
So get out there! Go to the local farmers markets around the Phoenix area. The Phoenix Public Market is a great place to start due to vicinity. But, definitely branch out! There’s much to be experienced at farmers markets, and they truly are an organic alternative to some of your pharmaceutical needs.