I ♥ Farmer's Markets

Friday, May 14, 2010
Over the past few years I have become much more aware of food sustainability and factory farming issues, at one point giving up pork and beef altogether. There will be no lectures from me just yet, but I will urge you to take a look at the "food" that you are putting your body and ask yourself if you are really getting the nourishment you need to be your healthiest self.

On the other hand, no way I will ever give up my pizza addiction...But I can start shopping at my local Farmer's Market.

"Farm produce includes fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, herbs, nuts, honey, dairy products, eggs, poultry, mushrooms, meats, fish, shellfish, cut flowers and nursery stock. Processed foods include jams, preserves, wine, ciders, pickled vegetables, fresh pasta, artisan breads and other baked goods. Everything on the market tables is grown or produced in Washington by the farmer or vendor who is selling."

FMs are the best way to find local, seasonal, "producer-only" items and support your area's economy while getting high quality, often organic ingredients - "people worldwide are rediscovering the benefits of buying local food. It is fresher than anything in the supermarket and that means it is tastier and more nutritious. It is also good for your local economy--buying directly from family farmers helps them stay in business." Do really want to eat something that's been genetically modified? Yeah, you can get a HUGE tomato but it's most likely lost quite a bit of the vitamins and minerals you are hoping to take in, not to mention the nasty pesticides.

This weekend I made my first trip to the West Seattle Farmers Market and picked up a number of great goodies:

Fresh asparagus
Fresh chard AND
Chard starts for my balcony
Farmstead feta cheese (Bear is not a fan of "American" store-bought feta)
Apple cider (when I return the bottle I'll receive $1 off the price of my next one, & this is my new "go-to" mixer for my Barleans Greens)
Spinach and garlic ravioli

I went later in the day and although my neighborhood's market runs year-round there are definitely seasonal effects on what you'll be able to find, so the selection was a bit sparse when it comes to veggies. I have a feeling I will have better luck next week.

Since then I have been able to test out a few new recipes using the fantastic asparagus, which I prefer to roast (so easy and fast.)

On the left - the most disgusting looking dish I have ever concocted: roasted asparagus with whole wheat pasta, tossed with yogurt and a balsamic/honey/sriracha reduction. On the right, good 'ol plain roasted asparagus with mashers and a peppered horseradish cream.

(please excuse the photos - obviously I am a very very very amateur photographer)

Not only have I found myself eating healthier, I am a little proud of myself for being a part part of such an important movement -"eating local." Visit Local Harvest at their website to find CSA options and Farmer's Markets in your area!

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