Refresh Your Diabetes Diet With Locally Grown Produce

One excellent strategy for managing or preventing type 2 diabetes is eating plenty of whole, fresh, unprocessed foods.

Great places to find whole, fresh, unprocessed foods are local farmers markets.

This year, the first week of August (2 thru 8) is National Farmers Market Week, a great time to discover or re-visit the markets in your area.

Why Shop Farmers Markets

Farmers markets help preserve farmlands, rural livelihoods, local economies, and they promote sustainability. They help protect natural resources, promote community health, and animal welfare.

Farmers markets also increase our access to a colorful array of the fresh, nutritious foods our bodies thrive on:

  • Almost half of the market vendors sell organically labeled products, and even more offer chemical or pesticide-free labeled items.
  • Much of the food we buy travels, from production point to the supermarket, over 1,000 miles. Foods sold at farmers markets cannot be transported more than 200 miles, and many markets only sell produce grown within 50 miles.
  • A 2015 survey of farmers who sell at local markets indicates that three out of four use farming practices consistent with organic standards, and four out of five use on-site composting, and healthy soil farming methods.
  • You can purchase a wide variety of food items from local farmers: 69 percent of them vend vegetables, 53 percent offer livestock, poultry, or eggs, 47 percent sell tree nuts and fruits, and 31 percent offer various other products.
  • Shopping farmers markets is generally economical. Studies in Vermont and North Carolina reveal that many market products are less expensive than at nearby supermarkets. Items are also easy to buy—many market vendors accept credit and debit cards.
  • The American Fitness Index reports the number of farmers markets per capita is positively correlated to overall community health since it gives more people access to fresh veggies and fruits.

To find farmers markets in your neck of the woods go online to Local Harvest (localharvest.org), Farmers Market Online (farmersmarketonline.com), the USDA Famers Markets Directory (search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets), or Google “farmers markets in (your city).”

Sources: Farmer Market Coalition; FMC Fact Sheet
Photo credit: djjewelz

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