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Make the Most of Farmers Markets

Farmers Market Vegetable Stand

Browsing a Central Florida or Gulf Coast farmers market is a fabulous way to support local businesses and discover fresh foods to enjoy with your family and friends.  In addition to stocking your kitchen with healthy food choices, shopping at farmers markets or street markets often means you are also leaving a smaller environmental footprint, as it takes far less fuel and energy to move goods locally.

4 Tips for a Fresh Shopping Experience

Enjoying deliciously healthy food is a key to vitality, which is why our team at Weight Success Centers has compiled some fun tips to help new and seasoned marketgoers:

  1. Search for and travel to a new farmers market.  This is the first step for newbies, but it is also an important suggestion for folks who frequent the same market week after week.  For example, if you find yourself on vacation or a long drive this summer, consider that an opportunity to explore a local farmers market along the way. The vendors and goods offered may be different than what is available in your town. This also provides an awesome opportunity to meet locals and chat about the area. 
  2. Discover the joy of something new.  Humans tend to be habitual, and this applies to the food we eat. We can be hesitant to try new things, but farmers markets give us an opportunity to diversify our diets. The food is fresh, and we can speak directly to the growers. Some vendors will even give out samples to taste before purchasing any unfamiliar foods.
  3. Don’t be shy when asking questions.  For most of the vendors, the goods they sell are their livelihood. They are passionate about their products and eager to answer questions. If you don’t know how to cut guava – then ask! Maybe you have wanted to make blueberry jam and the per-quart price seems high for the amount you will need. Also, ask the vendor if they offer a discount when you buy in bulk. Insider Tip: Some vendors also offer discounts towards closing time on leftover products to avoid having to transport everything back to their farm.
  4. Take your time to browse the entire market. For busy folks, it is common to have our shopping lists figured out before arriving at the local market. This means we rush around to the usual stands and don’t pay attention to everything else that is available. While this is completely understandable, we may be missing all kinds of great finds. For example, produce is not the only thing found at fresh markets. Local meats, eggs, cheese, wine, bread, popcorn, hand-made soaps and so much more are often for sale. 

Do you recommend any Farmers Markets in the Greater Tampa Bay Area or in Central Florida? What markets are your favorite and why? Join the conversation on Weight Success Centers’ social media sites and find more great tips to share with your friends and families.