Farm Fresh

Produce at Olde Time Farmers Market, Charleston, SC

In recent years American’s have had an increased interest in the quality of their food.  Farmers markets large and small have sprung up all across the States.  They play a role in creating healthy local economies and vibrant neighborhoods, and offer us a personal connection to the people who grow the produce we eat.

According to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, as of mid-2011, there were 7,175 (10+03) farmers markets operating throughout the U.S.  That’s a 17 percent increase from last year and a 309% increase since 1994.

Pesticides, which are still widely used on crops today, are not a recent invention.  Sustainabletable.org claims that “Medieval farmers and scientists experimented with chemicals ranging from arsenic to lead on common crops,” while later on, “The invention of DDT coupled with dramatic increases in crop yields in the 1950′s kicked off what many call the ‘pesticide era.’  Today, more than 20,000 [10+04] pesticides are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) resulting in a multibillion-dollar [10+10] industry in the United States alone.”  Given all the evidence that pesticides can cause nerve damage (4 to 100 micrometers or 10-06 to 10-04), it’s fortuitous to have so many farmers markets giving us an alternative—a wide selection of organic or “no spray” products.

Summer is coming to a close, but many farmers markets stay open well into the fall.  To find one near you, click here.

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