by Sarah Pittman, BS in food science and human nutrition with a concentration of dietetics.
Summer is in full swing and so are farmers markets! Many people really enjoy going to farmers markets and finding fresh produce, other fun treats, and homemade items to take home to their friends or families. Farmers markets can be a great place to get fresh fruits and vegetables. But does buying produce from the farmers market mean that their intake of fruits and vegetables goes up?
A few studies have shown that, yes, buying fruits and/or vegetables at a farmers market can increase the customer’s intake, especially when barriers are removed.
The CDC has tried to improve intake of fruits and vegetables by making access to farmers markets more accessible in rural areas specifically, (Perkins, 2014). They found that farmer’s market customer’s fruit and vegetable intake was positively associated with the frequency of purchasing fruits and vegetables from locally grown markets, (Perkins, 2014).
But other studies have shown that the cost, spoilage, and not knowing how to cook or use the fruit or vegetable are barriers to attending or buying produce from farmers markets, which can lead to a decrease in fruit or vegetable intake, (Shingleton C, Odoms-Young A, Fouche S, Deshpande R, Chatman C, Spreen C, 2018).
Farmers markets can be a great place to buy fresh produce while also getting to know where and which farmers it is coming from!
How often do you attend farmers markets?
Are they easily accessible in your community?
Singleton C, Odoms-Young A, Fouche S, Deshpande R, Chatman C, Spreen C. Barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption among farmers’ market incentive programme users in Illinois, USA. Public Health Nutrition[serial online]. n.d.;21(7):1345-1349. Available from: Social Sciences Citation Index, Ipswich, MA. Accessed June 12, 2018.
Perkins S. FARMERS’ MARKET SHOPPING BEHAVIORS AND THE ASSOCIATION OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLE INTAKE. [serial online]. n.d.; Available from Networked Digital Library of Theses & Dissertations, Ipswich, MA. Accessed June 14, 2018.