Friday, August 11, 2017

National Farmers Market Week

To celebrate National Farmer's Market Week we visited a local market in Tamarac, Florida. The group is known as the Community Farmers Markets of South Florida. 

"As a food photographer, my visual senses came alive; as an explorer of foods, the smells and flavors were enticing; and as a dietitian my mind raced with the food combinations, satisfying the senses and nutritional needs." Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RD, LN, FAND

Farmers markets are worldwide and reflect an area's culture and economy. They often feature produce locally grown, meats raised humanely, handmade farmstead cheeses, eggs and poultry from free-range fowl, as well as heirloom produce.

“Farmers grow the food, talk about how they grew the food, and learn from the shoppers who in turn prepared the food for family dinners. The farmers market is the place where food is both fuel and culture, and thus the place where we grow healthy communities.”  - Richard McCarthy, founding President of the Farmers Market Coalition and Executive Director

The Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to strengthening farmers markets for the benefit of farmers, consumers, and communities. During National Farmers Market Week, the FMC has prepared daily opportunities to celebrate with a themed media kit, called "Seven Days, Seven Ways to Celebrate Farmers Market Impacts."

USDA Encourages Americans
to Know Their Farmers
A USDA effort seeks to create economic opportunities in
rural America by promoting local and regional food systems.

Twelve Reasons to Visit a Farmers' Market
 Alice Henneman, RD

Food Safety and the Farmers Market

With the number of farmers markets increasing throughout the country, food safety inspectors are working harder to make sure consumers get safe products when they shop.

Abbey Harding is a food safety inspector for the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Part of her job is to inspect farmers markets, like the one in Grand Rapids, to make sure venders are complying with current regulations.

One thing an inspector looks at is the labeling. Vendors need to specify where their products are grown. Typically with packaged goods, vendors must list weights, ingredients, and whether the product requires refrigeration.

"If it's coming from a licensed source, we'd check with license control," Abbey Harding said. Michigan vendors need to be licensed and if they process food, they may be subjected to inspection at their facility.

Community Farmers Markets of South Florida. Current Farmers Markets are located at the following places:
Plantation Farmers Market, a year round adventure, every Saturday from 8-2, in Volunteer Park on Sunrise Blvd, between NW 188th ave and Flamingo Road.
Tamarac Farmers Market, also year round Market, every Sunday from 9-2 on the NW corner of Southgate and University.
Boynton Beach Farmers Market, year round every Saturday from 9-2, on the SE corner of Boynton Beach Blvd and Federal Highway.
Margate Farmers Market is a seasonal Market only open from November to April.

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