From: Judith Mabel, RD, PhD NutritionBoston.com
Farmer’s markets will be opening soon. These markets will have on display beautiful arrays of fresh produce and also carry other items such as baked goods, fish, meats, and eggs that are locally made or produced.
Some of the produce will say “organic”, “natural”, or “integrated pest management (IPM)”. What do these terms mean? Organic means that the food has been grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. These foods tend to contain the least amount of toxic metals and unwanted chemicals. Because the yield is a bit smaller and the labor hours are larger, organic foods tend to be more expensive. However, the more we can support organic farmers, the less this price gap will become.
There is one other item that increases the cost of organic food and that is that the organic farmers have to pay for their own testing to prove that they have followed the proper protocols. Some local farmers choose not to do that so instead they label their crops IPM. Other farmers find that doing one chemical spraying is necessary to secure the crop. This is also labeled as IPM. These foods have less chemicals than produce that is conventionally grown. Ask and they will tell you.
Conventionally grown food found in farmer’s markers are usually fresher than the food grown in the supermarket. They will have varying degrees of chemical or fertilizer exposure.
Find your nearest farmer’s market ….
No matter what you buy, you know your food dollars are going to support local small farmers and other local food producers!