In a recent conversation with Sabina about her food adventures, she lamented that in the Netherlands that the trend in cooking real food has changed to packaged convenience foods. (How well I know that is the case in America.) Sabina told me that cooking with whole and organic foods is considered old fashioned and unusual. The Netherlands is a small country in size, but has robust agricultural economy. (As I remember they make the best dairy cream for cooking.) Alas, Sabina reports there are no Farmer’s Markets in the Netherlands. It is a country of regulations and more regulations and licensing after all.
Ever the entrepreneurial haven to the world, the US has spawned (In a good way!) a vast countrywide Farmers Market trend, despite the great “agribizness” monster that seeks to control our seed, and food chain supplies. (Don’t let me get started.)
According to the United States Department of Agriculture there are 7, 260 Farmers Markets in the US of A! That means the trend to buy at Farmers Markets is growing.
Good news for the local small specialty farmers and the eating public.
Top reasons for going to a Farmers Market:
Freshness and Taste
Support local farmers
This makes my heart glad. Take a look at this map if you care to locate a farmer’s market in your area. I also am providing a link to an easy state-by-state locator from the USDA.
This is a snap shot of the state-by-state locator; click the link below to reach that actual locator. Going to the Farmer’s Market is just plain fun and relaxing.
http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/ Retrieved March 21, 2012
The Department of Agriculture has a blog where you can connect to more information on what is happening. I stumbled on this article about legislature to have schools and institutional buyers to purchase locally grown foods. (I was aware of this from a sound bite. I plan to write my representatives in support of the Pingree/Brown legislation.) Since I work with kids who complain about the food they receive at school, which is packaged and not made at the school, this is very important to me.
“Last November, Rep. Chellie Pingree, an organic farmer from Maine, introduced federal legislation that could have a profound impact on local food system development across the United States. The proposed legislation would make it easier for schools and institutional buyers to purchase locally grown foods and requires that various federal grants and loans be made available for local food system development.
Minnesota has been a national leader in revitalizing our local and regional food system through new farmers markets, Farm to School and Farm to Hospital initiatives, healthy corner stores, farmer engagement and new businesses that connect “farm to fork”. Recently, 39 Minnesota organizations and businesses representing farm, food, consumer and health groups signed a letter endorsing the Pingree/Brown legislation. Nationally, more than 220 organizations have endorsed the legislation. We hope that you will join us.”
http://www.iatp.org/blog/201202/casting-a-ballot-for-local-food Retrieved March 21, 2012
Join the Minnesota wave and visit a farmer’s market.
Go local for flavor and fun.
Farmers’ Market link for UK: http://www.localfoods.org.uk/home
Irelands Farmers’ Markets: http://www.bordbia.ie/aboutfood/farmersmarkets/pages/default.aspx
Canada’s Farmers’ Markets: http://www.farmersmarketscanada.ca/
Have a great day!