Know the provenance of your produce
Have you ever gone to a farmers' market and been overwhelmed? It can be difficult to know where to start or what to look for. And beyond just determining what kinds of fruits or vegetables to buy, there's also the question of organic vs. nonorganic, certified vs. not certified and a myriad other determining factors.
To help consumers, the nonprofit Alliance for Food and Farming has created an easy to use guide, which can be downloaded at safefruitsandveggies.com.
The Alliance, which is made up of farmers and farm groups from across the United States, works to maintain a commitment to food safety and environmental responsibility.
The guide is organized into three sections:
1. Know your farmer
2. Be clear about "certified" statements
3. Food safety first
Each section has a few questions for the farmers and vendors at the Farmer's Market, from "How long have you been farming?" to "What do you do to control pests and diseases?"
"By asking just a few questions from the AFF's list, a consumer can see how knowledgeable a vendor is about the food he/she is selling and they may learn some interesting farming facts as well, which can add to the overall farmers' market shopping experience," said Marilyn Dolan, executive director of the Alliance for Food and Farming, in a statement.
Additionally, Dolan says the guide is beneficial for the farmers.
"The vast majority of farmers are committed to producing safe food, but they are often not recognized for their efforts," she said in an email to amNewYork. "It is important for people to understand all that is involved in producing safe food and farmers are the best experts to provide this information to consumers."
The next time you're at the monstrous Union Square Greenmarket, this guide may come in handy.