Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD
Great news! There are lots of new places in the Washington, DC Metro Area offering delicious, healthy, fresh food. It looks and tastes better than what you can get at the usual supermarket or even at health-food stores. Plus, you don't have to read labels. Traveling this summer? Well, you're in luck! More and more Farmers' Markets are opening up across the country.
Farmers' Markets are also fabulous places to purchase gluten-free and allergen-free foods. Yes, many feature booths with baked goods or soups, but they're also a paradise of gluten-free goodness.
The benefits of shopping at a Farmers' Market include:
Another great option is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Through CSAs people can buy a "share" in a farm. This allows you to pick up a bag or box of fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods every week throughout the growing season. The produce varies from week to week and usually comes with delicious recipes. Pick-up points are located throughout D.C. and its suburbs.
- Fresh produce and meat. Most fruits and vegetables are picked that day. Look for vendors selling grass-fed meats or free-range poultry and eggs.
- Support for local farmers.
- Few or fewer pesticides on fruits and vegetables. A plum shipped from Chile required lots of pesticides to keep it looking lovely even after traveling thousands of miles!
- Better taste! There's nothing as delicious as biting into a freshly picked tomato, peach or apple!
- Unbeatable customer service. The "manufacturer" is usually right in front of you -- so if you have questions about how something was made or grown -- you can simply ask!
Remember, you are what you eat! And eating fresh, wholesome food is getting easier. Listed below are some links to farmer's markets and CSAs in our area and beyond.
As always, you have our best wishes for your optimal health.
Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD
Local Farmers' Markets Links:
City of Alexandria Farmers' Markets
Fairfax County Farmers' Markets
Arlington Farmers' Market
Regional Listing of Farmers' Markets
Farmers Markets' Map from Washington Post
National Listings of Farmers' Markets
Nationwide listing of USDA Farmers' Markets
National listing of farmers' markets, farms, farm stands, CSAs, etc.
Directory of Local CSAs
Summary of local CSAs for 2011 from the Washington Post
Missed the window for a CSA? Don't despair! There are plenty of resources below!
(including Organic Grocery Delivery Services & Farm Clubs)
Arganica Farm Club
Local source food club with delivery to homes in NoVa, MD & DC
Food Matters CSA
Also a cafe with catering, too!
Mount Vernon Farms
Through buyers' clubs or go out to the farm! In Sperryville, VA. Pastured beef, lamb and chicken.
Farm in the Shenandoah Valley with pastured meats and eggs that are delivered locally or bought in bulk.
South Mountain Veggies
Delivered, locally grown produce from Frederick County, MD.
Washington's Green Grocer
Delivers organic fruits, veggies and herbs to DC, VA and MD.
Virtual Mother's Farm
Glut Food Co-op
Takoma Park Co-op