Farmers Market to the Rescue
When we talk about nutrition we are also talking about nutrient value. Not to get to sciency but when we consider foods we have to consider the quantity and quality of the nutrients found in the food. It’s actually much more than just calories, carbohydrates, protein and fats. It’s also about vitamins, minerals and the phytochemicals in the foods.
The primary way people find the nutrient value is from the Nutrition Facts Label on a package. The FDA has approved recent changes – find out more here. Unfortunately this isn’t all the information you need to fully understand nutrition so there’s also the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, which lists the nutrient information of more than 8,000 foods.
But, let’s be honest, how many people really go online to find out the nutrient value of the food they eat? Heck, I don’t even do that and I study nutrition all the time!
Simple Solution – Farmers Market
One of the simplest solutions is to purchase from your local farmers market. The further the distance a food must travel in order to get to your plate, the less nutrient value. In fact, researchers at Penn State recently published a study in Journal of Food Science indicating that spinach lost 47% of it’s nutrient value within just two days of being refrigerated.
Now think about how long it takes to get that spinach to you!
The best nutrition comes from the food that travels the least distance in the shortest amount of time. Obviously having your own garden is the best. But, if you don’t have the space, time or energy . . . a farmers market is your next best. Here you’ll find produce that was usually picked within less than 24 hours so it will have the highest nutrient value.
Find a local farmers market near you by searching localharvest.org.
Farmers Market Video
Here’s a quick video: