Skip to main content

Fresh Food is Good Food: Shopping at Farmers Markets this Season

By YWCA Minneapolis Registered Dietitians
August 25, 2020
Social Share

August 25, 2020

Late summer and early fall are great seasons for finding fresh and local food. Even during this time of social distancing, many farmers markets are still up and running, most taking extra precautions to keep patrons safe. In this blog post, YWCA registered dietitians offer some information and tips on how to shop at farmers markets safely this season to get the most nutritious, best-tasting veggies around.

There are innumerable benefits to buying fresh and local food. Fresher food will be more nutrient-rich and will often have fewer chemicals or other contaminants in them. Also, buying produce that is in season will allow you to increase the variety of your food intake and give your body a greater selection of important nutrients. These important nutrients will also help your body build up its immune system, helping keep you healthier.

Farmers' food market stall with variety of organic vegetable. Vendor serving and chating with customers.

Finding Flavorful and Nutrient-Rich Food

Some markets keep tighter regulations, so you can ensure the food you are buying was grown locally. It is also a great place to learn where your food comes from and how animals were treated. Minnesota Grown is a great resource for finding farmers markets near you. Bonus, you can feel good about supporting a local farmer during this tough time.

Safety Precautions at Farmers Markets

Many markets have been implementing new safety rules. Some of the most common rules include:

  • Special hours for immunocompromised shoppers. (ex: 8:00 am – 9:00 am at the Mill City Market)
  • Maintain six feet distance from others
  • No dogs
  • Wear a face mask or covering
  • Limit shoppers to one if possible
  • No eating or drinking on-site
  • Don’t touch; many markets are having the vendor serve you

Tips for Shopping Quickly and Safely

If you are worried about spending too much time in a potentially large group while shopping, follow these steps to make your shopping trip more efficient.

  • Take advantage of the online ordering with curbside pickup.
  • Before you head out, check the market website. Many vendors are listed, so you know what to look for.
  • Use the vendor list online to create your grocery list. Just like making a list when you go to the store, a shopping list will help you stay on track.
  • To shop seasonally and choose items based on what looks good, create your list with room for interpretation. Keep your fruit and vegetable list more general with just the estimated amount/numbers you need; this will let you make sure you get what you need while being flexible to pick what looks best.

Farmers markets are the perfect place to find more flavorful and nutrient-rich food that you are looking for. Shop fresh, shop local and feel great!

Find a Farmers Market Near You

Learn More about YWCA Nutrition Coaching