The Garden Grocery: Food Safety & Selection at the Farmers\' Market


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Tips for selecting and enjoying locally produced foods at a Farmers\' Market

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The Garden Grocery: Food Safety & Selection at the Farmers\' Market

  1. 1. 1
  2. 2. 2 5/2007, updated slightly 5/2015, created with PowerPoint 2003 ● This is a peer-reviewed publication
  3. 3. 3 Get the most from your local Farmers’ Market with these tips…
  4. 4. 4 •FYI Facts •Food & Nutrition •Food Safety •Friendly Advice •For More Information
  5. 5. 5 Facts The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates over 1,000,000 people visit a Farmers’ Market weekly!
  6. 6. 6 That’s like traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles! Facts The average supermarket produce travels about 2,000 miles to its destination, compared to 50 miles for Farmers’ Market produce!
  7. 7. 7 Facts There are over 8,000 Farmers’ Markets in the United States.
  8. 8. 8 Farmers’ Markets make $ense! Great prices on fresh produce and garden goodies for everyone!
  9. 9. 9 Farmers’ Markets make $ense! Fresh herbs often are available at very reasonable prices.
  10. 10. 10 Farmers’ Markets make $ense! Home-baked goodies may be another bargain and a special treat!
  11. 11. 11 Farmers’ Markets make $ense! Locally raised meat may be available at some markets.
  12. 12. 12 Farmers’ Markets make $ense! Take home some fresh cut flowers!
  13. 13. 13 Farmers’ Markets make $ense! Some USDA programs offer food vouchers for qualified participants in participating states: – Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) – Women, Infant, and Children Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (WIC)
  14. 14. 14 •FYI Facts •Food & Nutrition •Food Safety •Friendly Advice •For More Information
  15. 15. 15 Farmers’ Markets offer a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables — which provide vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (fight-o-chemicals).
  16. 16. 16 • Stay healthy and energetic • Protect against the effects of aging • Reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease
  17. 17. 17 A few examples of phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables • Carotenoids in red and yellow- orange fruits and vegetables (such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots) • Lycopene in tomato-based foods (such as tomato sauce, tomato paste) • Lutein and zeaxanthin in leafy greens (such as collard greens, spinach, romaine lettuce) • Flavonoids in brightly colored fruits and vegetables (such as blueberries, cherries, strawberries)
  18. 18. 18 “Fruits and vegetables come in terrific colors and flavors, but their real beauty lies in what's inside. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases. To get a healthy variety, think color. Eating fruits and vegetables of different colors gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients, like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Some examples include green spinach, orange sweet potatoes, black beans, yellowyellow corn, purple plums, red watermelon, and whitewhite onions. For more variety, try new fruits and vegetables regularly.”
  19. 19. 19 Fruit & vegetable benefits: FIBER Diets rich in dietary fiber have been shown to have a number of beneficial effects including decreased risk of coronary artery disease.
  20. 20. 20 Fruit & vegetable benefits: FOLATE Healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect.
  21. 21. 21 Fruit & vegetable benefits: POTASSIUM Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
  22. 22. 22 Fruit & vegetable benefits: VITAMIN A Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections.
  23. 23. 23 Fruit & vegetable benefits: VITAMIN C Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keep teeth and gums healthy.
  24. 24. 24 Use MyPlate as your guide!
  25. 25. 25 MyPlate: Fruits Eat the equivalent of 2 cups of fresh, canned or frozen fruits per day (for a 2,000 calorie diet) Note this equivalent: ¼ cup dried fruit = ½ cup fruit
  26. 26. 26 MyPlate: Vegetables Eat the equivalent of 2½ cups of raw or cooked vegetables per day (for a 2,000 calorie diet) Note this equivalent: 2 cups raw leafy greens = 1 cup of vegetable
  27. 27. 27 For optimum health, scientists say eat a rainbow of colors. Your plate should look like a box of Crayolas ~Janice M. Horowitz, TIME, January 12, 2002
  28. 28. 28 Eggplant, purple grapes, plums, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, purple figs, dried plums, black currants
  29. 29. 29 Leafy greens, asparagus, green peppers, broccoli, green beans, peas, cabbage, green onion, Brussels sprouts, okra, zucchini, Chinese cabbage, green apples, green grapes, honeydew melon, kiwifruit, limes
  30. 30. 30 Cauliflower, mushrooms, white beans, onions, garlic, parsnips, shallots, turnips, ginger, jicama, bananas, pears
  31. 31. 31 Carrots, summer squash, corn, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, yellow peppers, rutabagas, cantaloupe, grapefruit, lemons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pineapples, tangerines, apricots, mangoes, papayas
  32. 32. 32 Tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, tomato juice, tomato soup, red peppers, red onions, beets, red cabbage, kidney beans, apples, pink grapefruit, red grapes, strawberries, cherries, watermelon, raspberries, cranberries, pomegranates
  33. 33. 33 How do I get started? It’s easier than you think to dish up some extra servings of health...
  34. 34. 34 Begin with breakfast • Oatmeal with blueberries • Yogurt with fruit and whole grain cereal • Purple grape juice • Fresh fruit smoothie
  35. 35. 35 Snacks on the go • Fresh fruit • Soy nuts and dried fruits • 100% tomato, cranberry, or orange juice • Fresh broccoli or cauliflower with dip
  36. 36. 36 Nutritious meal ideas • Tuna salad with grated carrots, red peppers, onions, and garlic • Whole grain pasta with tomato sauce and fresh herbs • Fresh vegetable soup
  37. 37. 37 Pick a variety of colors as a tasty and colorful way to stay healthy!
  38. 38. 38 •FYI Facts •Food & Nutrition •Food Safety •Friendly Advice •For More Information
  39. 39. 39 Look for produce that is free from unusual odors or colors and signs of spoilage such as mold.
  40. 40. 40 Handle produce gently to reduce bruising. Bacteria can thrive in the bruised areas.
  41. 41. 41 Go straight HOME from the market! Avoid side trips. Foods will decline in quality and perishable foods like meats and eggs can pose food safety problems if left sitting in your car.
  42. 42. 42 Different fruits and vegetables require different temperature and humidity levels for proper storage.
  43. 43. 43 Some foods that taste best stored at room temperature include: Store in a clean, dry, well-ventilated place, away from direct sunlight and away from areas where meat, fish, and poultry are prepared. • Bananas • Melons • Onions • Potatoes • Sweet potatoes • Tomatoes • Winter squashes
  44. 44. 44 Other produce can be ripened on the counter and then stored in the refrigerator. Examples include: • Avocados • Kiwifruit • Nectarines • Peaches • Pears • Plums
  45. 45. 45 This slows ripening and may increase off-odors and decay from the accumulation of carbon dioxide and depletion of oxygen inside the bag. Avoid placing produce in a sealed plastic bag on your countertop.
  46. 46. 46 Most other fresh fruits and vegetables keep best stored in a clean refrigerator at a temperature of 40° F or below. Use your refrigerator crisper drawer for whole produce.
  47. 47. 47 • Fruits give off ethylene gas which can shorten the storage life of vegetables. • Some vegetables give off odors that can be absorbed by fruits and affect their quality. Store fruits in a separate refrigerator crisper drawer from vegetables.
  48. 48. 48 Refrigerate fruits and vegetables in perforated plastic bags to help maintain moisture yet provide air flow. Unperforated plastic bags can lead to the growth of mold or bacteria. If you don’t have access to commercial, food-grade, perforated bags, use a sharp object to make several small holes in a food-grade plastic bag (about 20 holes per medium-size bag).
  49. 49. 49 If fruits and vegetables are placed on refrigerator shelves, store meats on pans or plates below the produce to prevent meat juices — which may contain harmful bacteria — from dripping on them.
  50. 50. 50 Wash hands properly before handling produce. • Wet hands with clean, warm water. • Apply soap and work into a lather. • Rub hands together for 20 seconds; rinse under clean, running water. • Dry hands with disposable paper towel or clean cloth towel.
  51. 51. 51 Wash produce thoroughly 1. Wash produce before you use it, NOT when you bring it home! Fresh produce has a natural protective coating that helps keep in moisture and freshness. Washing produce before storage causes it to spoil faster.
  52. 52. 52 2. Remove and discard outer leaves. 3. Rinse under clean, running water just before preparing or eating. Don’t use soap or detergent as it can get into produce and make you sick.
  53. 53. 53 Moisture left on fruits and vegetables helps bacteria grow. Dry them if you won’t eat or cook them right away. 5. Rub briskly — scrubbing with a clean brush or hands — to clean the surface. 6. Dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. 7. Cut away bruised and damaged areas.
  54. 54. 54 Bacteria on the outside of produce can be transferred to the inside when they are cut or peeled. Rinse produce even when the peel is removed ― such as for melons and citrus fruits!
  55. 55. 55 Once you have cut through the protective skin of fruits & vegetables, bacteria can enter. Refrigerate cut or peeled fruits and vegetables within TWO hours! Refrigerate cut or peeled fruits and vegetables within TWO hours!
  56. 56. 56 •FYI Facts •Food & Nutrition •Food Safety •Friendly Advice •For More Information
  57. 57. 57 Enjoy picking your produce at the local Farmers’ Market!
  58. 58. 58 Take your time! Farmers’ Markets are a great place to shop and to get some exercise! Enjoy walking around the market! Have fun looking at all the produce and goodies!
  59. 59. 59 Got kids or grandkids? Take them along! Many kids have never seen or tried some of the foods at Farmers’ Markets. Let them see...
  60. 60. 60 ...carrots with their tops
  61. 61. 61 ...zucchinis with blossoms
  62. 62. 62 ...cauliflower surrounded by a cocoon of leaves
  63. 63. 63 Bring some cash or money saving coupons! Vendors may not accept checks or credit cards in some areas.
  64. 64. 64 • Take your own canvas or net bags or baskets, as Farmers’ Markets don’t usually have shopping carts! • Wide woven baskets help prevent produce from piling on each other. • Place heavier items at the bottom of the basket or bag. • To avoid squishing your produce, consider shopping with several bags or baskets.
  65. 65. 65 Dress comfortably! • Weather can change fast! • Wear comfortable shoes if you have to walk a lot. • Keep a jacket and umbrella in the car in case of wet weather.
  66. 66. 66 Go early! Growers often only bring a few pounds of produce and the best bunches goes first! On warm days, the quality of unrefrigerated fruits and vegetables can decline from morning to afternoon. However, you might get a great deal at the end of the day!
  67. 67. 67 Experiment! Be flexible. Wait and see what’s best at the market! You might get a new tasty treat for your menus!
  68. 68. 68 Ask questions! • Learn about new and old favorites, how to prepare them and when they are ripe. • Most farmers and vendors love to share what they know and may be able to give you cooking and recipe hints.
  69. 69. 69 Check it all out! • See who has what and at what price. • Buy something you haven’t tried before! • Ask the grower ways to select and prepare your produce.
  70. 70. 70 Try not to over-buy • Aim to buy foods you’ll eat now when they are fresh. • Select an amount you can use within a short time, especially, if you won’t need it right away.
  71. 71. 71 •FYI Facts •Food & Nutrition •Food Safety •Friendly Advice •For More Information
  72. 72. 72 “Pick” more produce facts at the following Websites...
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  75. 75. 75 For further questions… contact your local extension office.
  76. 76. 76
  77. 77. 77 Extension is a Division of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska– Lincoln cooperating with the Counties and the United States Department of Agriculture. University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension educational programs abide with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the United States Department of Agriculture.