Buy Local, Eat Healthier: Shop at Farmers’ Markets

Posted by Melanie Albert on 10/1/14 7:44 AM

Eat Local. Shop at a Farmers’ Market. Buy a CSA. Enjoy a Simple Roasted Roots Recipe

In Arizona where the Southwest Institute of Healing Art (SWIHA) campus is located and where I live, many of the local farmers’ markets will be re-opening for the season after our “dry heat, hot summer”. Fortunately, we do have a few farmers whose produce is available during the summer, so I’ve been having fun shopping from a few farmers for our Whole Foods Cooking Classes at SWIHA this summer.

4 Great Reasons to Eat Local

  • Locally grown produce is fresher, tastes better and lasts longer.. Most produce in conventional grocer stores is picked well before it's ready to be picked. Some of the methods used to ripen the food in warehouses and in trucks include methane gas. Food that is allowed to ripen on the vine absorbs many of the flavors and nutrients they are intended to. Local produce shortens the path traditionally traveled from farm to table and the result is better tasting more nutrient dense food.
  • Eating local keeps us in touch with the seasons.. When we eat foods that are at their peak taste, most abundantly available and grow where we live are generally what our body needs at time of the year. For instance, when it’s summer-time, much of the available food, like strawberries and watermelon tends to be light, water-rich and cooling.
  • Support your local economy. When you buy local it creates a local need for the product or service and to fill that need, local jobs. This means that we are keeping that money that would be sent other places in the community and helping each other. Shopping at your local farmers’ market or joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a great way to start buying and supporting local businesses.
  • It’s better for environment. Did you know that food in conventional grocery stores travels an average of 1,500 miles. This is tracked as "Food Miles" and is one of the reasons our produce is heavily linked to the oil industry and contributes to air quality and pollution issues.

"With farmers markets and CSA, I’ve tried new-to-me veggies such as Purslane, striped beets, purple carrots and all kinds of leafy greens".

-Melanie Albert

Find a Farmers Market Near You

As demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables has increased, so too has the number of farmers markets across the nation. After 20 years of steady increases, the number of farmers markets across the country now registered with the USDA is 8,268, compared to 1,744 in 1994. To find a local farmer’s market, visit the Local Harvest site at www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/.

Support your local farmers by joining a CSA

Over the last two decades, CSA has become a popular way to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here’s how it works: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. The "share" size vary from farmer to farmer, generally consists of a box of vegetables that is enough to feed a family for a week, but other farm products, like flowers, fresh herbs, or eggs, may be included. To participate you purchase a "share membership" and in return receive a box of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming or ranching season.

Advantages for Farmers

  • Receive payment early in the season, which helps with cash flow
  • Spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
  • Get to know the people who eat the food they grow

Top 5 Reasons to Join a CSA

  1. Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and nutrient benefits
  2. Get to experiment with new vegetables
  3. Visit the farm at least once a season
  4. Kids have fun and try foods from “their” farm, and learn more about how food is grown
  5. You can develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food

Whole Food S.O.U.L. Food Wednesday Action:
Go to a Farmers’ Market & Cook Organic Roasted Roots

With our Whole Food S.O.U.L. blog we invite you to take action with your whole foods eating behavior.

Our Challenge for you this week is to visit a farmers’ market, buy a few beautiful, colorful organic roots and prepare delicious roasted roots. Try roots such as golden beets, rainbow carrots, turnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, or radishes. To get started, try the Experience Nutrition™ Organic Roasted Roots Recipe. Come on over to Facebook and share your creations with us on Facebook.

Farmers’ MarketOur Whole Food / S.O.U.L Food Wednesday Recipe for the Week

Experience Nutrition™ Organic Roasted Roots Recipe


This is a basic recipe or cooking foundation to roast any kind of roots. I have served this dish at holiday dinners and love to make a large batch for left-overs. Have fun experimenting with different roots, different herbs and spices, different cuts, different textures, and different colors.

  • 3-5 roots: Carrots, celery root, golden beets, red beets, sweet potatoes, turnips
  • Fresh garlic
  • 2-3 TBS organic extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt

Simple Steps

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350-400 degrees
  2. Chop all veggies
  3. Place roots into baking dish
  4. Add organic extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, and mix into the veggies
  5. Cook for about 30-35 minutes



Share your Farmers’ Market Organic Roasted Roots creations on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/SWIHA and www.facebook.com/9Ways90Days

whole-foods-cooking-authorAbout the Author Melanie Albert

Melanie Albert, nutrition and food expert, author and speaker, has been active in the integrative medicine and nutrition fields for over a decade. She is the founder & CEO of Experience Nutrition Group, LLC, whose mission is to improve the lives health and nutrition of the sports community, kids and corporations through food and lifestyle education.

Melanie is an instructor in Whole Foods Cooking, Holistic Nutrition (Conscious Eating) and Entrepreneurship at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) in Tempe, AZ. She also teaches Intuitive Eating at Spirit of Yoga in Tempe, AZ. Melanie walks her talk and you can always find her at farmers' markets, in the kitchen experimenting, and practicing yoga.

You can get more recipes, nutrition and food tips from Melanie.

Visit her blog: www.9Ways90Days.wordpress.com

Visit her Facebook: www.facebook.com/9Ways90Days

Topics: Melanie Albert, Whole Foods Wednesday, Blog, Recipe of the Week, Whole Foods, Urban Farming, Nutrition, Farmers Market

About the Author Melanie Albert

Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker, has been active in wellness, integrative medicine, and nutrition for over 15 years and has worked with former NFL players, Super Bowl events, holistic practitioners, kids, and seniors. She is the founder of Experience Nutrition Group, LLC in Phoenix, and author of “A New View of Healthy Eating: Simple Intuitive Cooking with Real Whole Foods" and companion 55-card deck. Melanie is a 2007 graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, 2001 Integrative Medicine Fellow and 2003 Intuition Fellow of the Kaiser Institute, former marketing consultant for Weil Lifestyle, LLC / Andrew Weil, MD, Holistic Nutrition Instructor of Whole Foods Cooking and Conscious Eating at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, Arizona, and 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher. She received culinary training with the Rouxbe Cooking School Plant-Based Professional Certification. Her company, Experience Nutrition was an Official Health & Wellness Partner of the NFL Alumni Association in 2011. Melanie lives in Phoenix, Arizona. You can always find her shopping at farmers’ markets, experimenting in the kitchen, and practicing yoga.

Melanie Albert

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