Shopping for farm-fresh produce in Baton Rouge just got easier with the Red Stick Farmer’s Market. The concept of “Farm-to-Table” is becoming increasingly popular as local markets pop up across the country. Have you considered the difference in taste and texture, for example, between canned asparagus, spinach and beets, compared to when they are fresh? No wonder the farm-to-table concept has caught on!
“Farm-to-table” is defined as purchasing locally-grown food directly from the source, i.e. local farmers. According to the Farm to Table Concept there are many benefits to this way of shopping for produce because it takes less time and fewer hands to get the produce from the farm to the table. The obvious benefits are that the produce tastes fresher, lasts longer and supports local farmers. The not-so-obvious benefits, as pointed out by South Source, are that this process is good for the environment.
Since the produce doesn’t have to travel long distances to get to the supermarket, local food can be grown to be healthy and tasty without the farmer having to worry about growing foods that are resilient to long travel. In order to get fruits and vegetables into supermarkets, the produce can be transported as much as 1,500 miles. Eighteen wheelers burn about 500 gallons of diesel to travel this distance. Additionally, many fruits and vegetables are imported from other countries. To keep food from spoiling during these trips, some of the produce must be picked before it is ripe. The produce must ripen during travel. According to South Source, the U.S. Department of Agriculture states that this causes the produce to lack some of the nutrients that would be present in produce from a local farmer.
Many bed and breakfasts are getting into the act by growing some of the fruits, vegetables and herbs they use in their meals. Restaurants are doing the same thing, growing organic foods that taste fresh with no preservatives.
Today, farm-to-school, or more correctly phrased, farm-to-cafeteria is becoming popular around the country. Students are provided with healthy locally grown food and some of the schools are teaching students to grow their own vegetables. Programs exist in the school to encourage nutrition education activities designed to teach children to eat healthy for life.
Try produce you’ve never tasted fresh before. If you live in or around Baton Rouge, check the schedule for the Red Stick Farmer’s Market. Otherwise, there are plenty of markets around the country with produce for you to enjoy, possibly right in your own area.