One of the rising trends of the decade is the conscious decision to eat and live healthier. There’s been an enormous push for natural and organic ingredients everywhere these days, most likely in part because people are just more aware. Because of the digital revolution, just about everyone knows the perils and dangers of conventionally grown produce. People are now obsessed with knowing where their food was grown, how it was grown, and what was used to make it grow.
That’s why farmers markets have experienced a massive increase in regular patrons. Most people don’t want to subject themselves to synthetically grown fruits and vegetables. Farmers markets are the answer to the public’s demand for better, safer, and organic produce.
Organic Fruits and Pesticides
If you’re new to farmers markets, you might not know what it means for fruits and vegetables to be considered “organic.” One common misconception is that any produce grown locally. While organic food can be grown in your local area, not all local produce is organic. Of course, there are benefits to buying local produce, but farmers need to be certified by the proper authorities first before they can proclaim that their produce is “organic.”
But what are the requirements farmers need to follow to be certified? First, they are prohibited from using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers to grow their produce. Chemical pesticides might keep fruits and vegetables safe from pests, but countless studies have shown just how even low doses of pesticides increase a person’s chances of several types of cancer.
Organic farmers do, however, use naturally-derived pesticides which are much less toxic than chemical ones.
Another condition farmers need to meet is that they must take extra measures to protect their farm’s soil and water quality. Because of these specific conditions, organic produce tends to be more expensive than conventionally grown produce. But considering the risks that involve non-organic fruits and vegetables, the price is definitely worth it for most people.
However, if you do want to switch to a healthier, more natural, more organic lifestyle but still remain conscious of your food budget, there are some fruits that you can prioritize over other fruits. Certain types of conventionally grown produce are treated with more pesticides than others, so it’s best to buy the organic alternative. Other produce isn’t as heavily treated and are thus safer to consume.
Here’s a list of natural and organic fruits we highly recommend buying in a farmers market instead of commercial stores. Typically, these fruits have the highest pesticide levels so you’d do better to get them organic.
Top Organic Fruits to Buy
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Organic apples, in particular, are much safer and much healthier. This fruit is famous for being packed with vitamins, but it’s actually the most nutritious when it’s fresh. Grocery stores tend to keep apples in storage for months so when a customer buys them, the apples aren’t nearly as nutritious anymore. Plus, conventionally grown apples are one of the more heavily treated fruits. If you buy an organically grown apple at a farmers market during peak season, you’ll get not only a more delicious apple but also a more healthy one.
On the one hand, grapes you can find at a commercial store are bigger, and you can even get seedless. However, those grapes have been modified and have undergone heavy pesticide treatment. Organic grapes might be smaller, but they are safer. Plus, they’re tastier too. They also have a richer flavor that’s also much more nutritious than store bought grapes. Organic grapes are better for desserts too since they’re so flavourful. They also make for delicious homemade jams.
According to recent studies, peaches are treated with more chemicals than any other fruit. They’re summer fruits, so they’re mostly imported from other countries, that’s why they’re so heavily treated. Our advice is to get organic peaches and stay away from the grocery store ones. Farmer’s market organic peaches tend to be sweeter too, so there’s an added bonus. They’re delicious, no doubt, but considering the number of chemicals that go into conventionally grown peaches, it’s not worth the risk.
Another summer fruit on this list. One could even say that watermelons are the essential summer fruit since they’re so sweet and refreshing, perfect for those hot summer days. Watermelons you find at a commercial grocery store – especially after summer – aren’t very flavourful. You also won’t see much variety in grocery stores. That’s right, and there’s more than one kind of watermelon. You’re probably more familiar with the green-and-red type of watermelon, but in a farmers market, you can find different types of watermelon of all shapes and sizes. You’ll be surprised to see that there are watermelons with white flesh and yellow flesh. Expand your summer palate and give them a try!
This smooth-skinned peach is also one of the more heavily treated fruits, mainly since they’re typically imported from other countries. Suffice it to say, and organic nectarines are the better option.
For such a small fruit, cherries pack quite the punch. Organic cherries are especially delicious and healthy. Moreover, cherries have cholesterol-reducing properties but only if they’re fresh. If you’re a health nut, you’ll want to get yourself organic cherries fresh from the farmers market.
People love berries because they’re so sweet and full of antioxidants. Raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries are most people’s all-time favorite fruits. While these berries might appear fresh when you buy them in grocery stores – their bright colors are definitely alluring – they actually come from other countries. Which means they’re very chemically treated to maintain the appearance of freshness. On the other hand, organic berries are much healthier and sweeter.
Benefits of Buying Organic Fruits at a Farmers Market
If you still need a bit more convincing to give farmers markets and organic fruits a try, here are just a few benefits of choosing to go organic.
As mentioned previously, organic fruits aren’t treated with chemical pesticides and fertilizers which makes them inherently safer to consume than conventionally grown fruits. Babies and toddlers are particularly vulnerable to pesticide contamination since their immune system is still developing. However, fruits are crucial to a growing baby’s diet so giving them organic fruits is the more advised option. And once you do start feeding your baby delicious fruits, you might want to start looking for the best baby toothbrushes.
Organic fruits are also GMO-free. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are plants that have been genetically altered in some way that wouldn’t have occurred naturally. While the topic of GMOs remains to be controversial (with companies insisting that GMOs don’t cause any health damage), studies have indicated that they might be linked to specific health problems.
Organic fruits don’t use preservatives, unlike the ones you find in supermarkets which can be stored for weeks and months before they see the light of day again. If you buy organic fruits at a farmers market, you’re guaranteed to be buying fresh fruits. Farmers also don’t gas their produce to stimulate the ripening process.
And because they’re so fresh, they’re also much more palatable than your average grocery store fruit. Organic fruits you find in a farmers market are harvested during their peak season which means that the fruits’ natural sugars are at their highest. Not only are the fruits sweeter, but they’re also more nutritious. Store bought fruits pale in comparison to farmers market fruits. There is a vast difference in flavor, texture, and nutrition value. You don’t even need to know much about fruits and farming to know which fruits are the more superior in quality.
Farmer’s market fruits don’t just benefit the individual consumer. Organic farmers don’t use chemical pesticides and fertilizers on their produce, so they help to keep the environment much cleaner. Frequent use of chemicals in the soil is harmful to the ecosystem, so natural pesticides are really helping out our environment. Commercial farming can often do more harm than good. Produce companies often grow monocultures (fields with only one type of fruit or vegetable being grown) which strips away the nutrients in the soil, resulting in the whole barren earth. Local organic farmers practice more responsible farming, and if you support farmers markets, you’re helping sustain a more environmentally-friendly system. In this day and age, it’s more important than ever to be aware of our carbon footprint.
Supporting Local Economy
Additionally, by supporting your local farmers market, you’re helping your local community’s economy. If you buy from local farmers (instead of giant supermarkets), your money stays close to your local government which will be reinvested in other projects and services within your community. You’d also be helping local farmers, growers, and sellers maintain their jobs which boosts the agriculture sector.
Promoting Community Solidarity
When you buy from large retail stores, you don’t really know whose grown the produce you’ve selected. You can’t ask anyone from the store how the fruit or vegetable was grown since the produce most likely came from farm miles and miles away. In a farmer’s market, the person selling the produce has most likely helped grow the fruits or, at the very least, knew how it was grown, so you can ask whatever question you want. This makes farmers market a great place to connect with the people who grew your food. You’re not just a passive consumer; you’re an active member of your community.