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Farmers market vs. store bought

June 13, 2013
By KAYLA?VAN?DYNE - Times Leader Staff Writer , Times Leader

The summer season is here, the weather is warm, many families are grilling out rather then cooking and eating inside.

Many of the popular fruits and veggies such as strawberries, watermelon and cucumbers are in season. Along with these popular fruits and veggies, comes farmer markets as well.

This leads to the question are farmer markets better then grocery store produce?

When walking into any grocery store, the aisles and islands are piled high with fresh fruits and veggies, which sometimes can be overwhelming, especially when it is lined up along the rows and aisle of can goods, meat and dairy products.

The draw to the grocery store is the hours are better, sometimes the prices are better, where the customers can buy a container of blueberries for a dollar. Prices vary depending on what produce it is, things like tomatoes, corn and cauliflower can be found cheaper at a farmer market.

But with grocery stores there are the draw backs as well. Along with the healthy choices of fruits and veggies, a shopper can also make the unhealthy choices along with the healthy ones.

Grocery stores will use products as tie-ins to make more sales, for example one that has been commonly seen is setting up a displays of dessert shells next to the strawberries. By this we often times become distracted by what we really need, but more with what we want.

At farmer markets, it is farmers sitting up tables full of his or her own produce that was picked from the fields. These products also did not travel as far as some grocery store produce. Some of the produce will travel miles to the stores and warehouses. Another thing to keep in mind when buying is how the produce is shipped and handled. When it is the farmers own product, it is handled with more care then a grocery store clerk might handle it.

It can also be said that if the product is picked too early, it could lose its freshness and a lot of its nutrition. While grocery stores can have berries and melons all year long, they are not in season and not always the best tasting. The fruits and veggies found at the farmer markets are fresh and picked within a day or so of the day they were taken to market.

With grocery stores the produce in question, no one how long ago it was picked or what has been down to it to keep the product to keep it fresh.

When it comes to where to buy the best produce it really depends on the where you would rather shop. If you are at the grocery store and want to buy strawberries or if there is a local farmers market. Which is better is more of a personal opinion rather then a having a right or wrong answer. Grocery stores and farmer markets both have their pros and cons, it is really about what you like and what you want.

Van Dyne can reached kvandyne@timesleaderonline.com.

 
 

 

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