All Kentuckians deserve to eat the best food out there. This means having access to safe, affordable, culturally acceptable, and nutritious food that meets the dietary needs for an active and healthy lifestyle. With Kentucky’s history of agriculture tradition and family farms, the solution to connecting consumers to fresh produce is literally grown in our backyard.
Farmers’ markets provide access to nutritious foods grown just miles away while supporting the livelihood of neighbors—local Kentucky farmers. Not only will you find seasonal produce that is affordable and at its peak nutritionally and in flavor, where else can you speak directly to the farmers about the quality and flavor of your berries and get to experience the vibrancy of your local community? Need more inspiration to shop at your local farmers’ market this coming season? Read on!
Variety of Nutrients: Farmers’ markets provide a one-stop-shop for a wide variety of types and colors of produce so your body gets the mix of nutrients it needs to be healthy.
Reduce Risk of Disease: Eating fruits and vegetables helps maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.
Reduce Obesity: Evidence indicates convenient, affordable, healthy options lead to increased purchasing and eating of healthy food. Over time, improved eating habits result in obesity reduction.
2. Community Connections
Know Your Farmers: Farmers’ markets offer the opportunity to talk directly with local farmers, build personal relationships between producer and consumer, and learn where and how their food is grown.
Know Your Neighbors: They provide a safe place for people to gather and get to know neighbors, farmers, and local community members.
Know Your Food: In addition to making fresh produce more accessible to customers, farmers’ markets offer a fun place for community members to sample unfamiliar foods and learn how to clean, prepare, and cook fresh, healthy foods.
3. Food Equity
Affordability: People with lower incomes typically spend a greater percentage of their wages on food. Accepting federal food assistance benefits is just one-way farmers’ markets can make healthy produce more affordable to all Kentuckians.
Accessibility: Farmers’ markets are unique food retailers because their physical location follows the people. Positioning the market within walking distance of public transportation or community “hot spots” improves the accessibility of fresh foods.
Culturally Acceptable: Direct interaction between local producers and consumers increases access to foods that are culturally acceptable to all community members.
4. Sustainable Food Systems
Supply & Demand: Sustainable food systems meet a community’s nutrition, economic, and social needs without compromising the environment. When consumers demand healthier foods, it stimulates production and improves the availability of fruits and vegetables.
Support Local Farms: Supporting local food helps secure jobs and local revenue, stimulate small and midsized farms, preserve farmlands, and improve access to adequate, nutritious foods for all residents.
Support Local Economies: Local vendors, such as farmers’ markets, reinvest their income in the community three times more than chain retailers.