As Farmers' Markets Re-Open Use the AFF's Guide to Food Safety

As Farmers' Markets Re-Open Use the AFF's Guide to Food Safety

5/6/2014 12:12 PM

May has arrived and as we move toward summer and warmer weather, more and more farmers’ markets are now opening across the country.  Farmers’ markets have become increasingly popular shopping choices because they offer consumers the unique opportunity to visit directly with farmers and learn more about growing produce.  But, if you are visiting a farmers’ market for the first time or your favorite farmers’ market now has new vendors, the Alliance for Food and Farming has developed a webpage with some tips to help shoppers ensure that they are buying food grown responsibly and in a safe manner. 

Among some of the most confusing topics for farmers’ market shoppers are “certification” statements.  The AFF webpage provides explanations and suggested questions for shoppers while at the market to help them better understand the myriad of statements and claims regarding “organic” and “pesticide free.”  The AFF also recently added a new section to safefruitsandveggies.com which outlines the stringent government regulations concerning the approval and use of organic pesticides.  This section is helpful to consumers no matter where they shop for their fruits and veggies and shows that the standards in place for organic pesticides – like their conventional counterparts – are rigorous and health protective. 

Regardless of where you shop or if you buy organic or conventional produce, make sure that you include plenty of fruits and veggies in your diet every day. Decades of studies show that people who eat more fruits and veggies enjoy better health and a longer life.  Most recently, a British study found that consuming seven or more servings of produce per day reduced the risk of premature death by 42%.  And, another study determined that if half of Americans increased their consumption of a fruit or veggie by a single serving, 20,000 cancer cases could be prevented annually - this study was conducted assuming all servings were of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.

So enjoy your shopping choices as we move into summer but be sure to follow the advice of health experts everywhere and eat more organic and conventionally grown produce each day – both are very safe and the right choice is to always eat more.

To find a farmers’ market located near you, visit the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farmers’ Market Directory.

 

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