Local Farmers’ Markets in Philadelphia and New Jersey
A diet rich in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is important for cancer prevention, not to mention it’s trendy too.
An increasing number of farmers have been making their way to Philadelphia and its surrounding areas as a part of a nation-wide movement to buy local.
Did you know most of the fresh fruits and vegetables you purchase in your supermarket have already spent as many as seven to 14 days in transit? Once produce is picked, it stops receiving nutrients from the source plant, but it is still alive. Produce loses heat and moisture over time through a process called respiration, which is one way nutrients and flavor are lost.
Asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, and spinach have very high respiration rates and will lose moisture, flavor and nutrients quicker than an apple or onion, which have low respiration rates.
Spinach, for example loses up to 50 to 90% of its vitamin C content within 24 hours of being picked.
This is why local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from other states or countries.
Should You Shop Local?
Although, farmer’s markets appear to be more expensive than supermarkets, food at local farmer’s markets may be more nutritious.
Most of the farmers’ markets accept Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program paper vouchers, issued to seniors or WIC recipients. Farm to City, with its partner the Reading Terminal Market Corporation, has terminals that enable farmers to accept SNAP, debit, and credit cards, promoting fresh and local produce to everyone.
Buying local food keeps your dollars circulating in your community.
Shopping Local is a Fun Family Experience
Buy local because it’s also fun for the whole family!
Shopping at farmer’s markets is a great way for kids to learn more about the fruits and vegetables on their plates. The farmers are knowledgeable and eager to share information with their customers.
Plus, many farmers sell homemade sausage, eggs, yogurt, cheese, jams, spreads, and baked goods in addition to fruits and vegetables.
This article is authored Debra DeMille, MS, RD, LDN, CSO and Abby Wetzel, MS,RD, LDN, who are staff of our Oncology Nutritions Services; Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital. They are excellent resources for your nutrition questions during and after treatment. Thank you, Abby and Debra!