The era of mass food retailing got consumers used to the concept of perfect-looking (if not perfect-tasting) produce.
As a result, a lot of imperfect fruits and vegetables are just tossed away. The growing national concerns over food waste are leading some consumers to look closely at items—formally known as “seconds” and sometimes referred to as “ugly” fruits and vegetables—that don’t have perfect appearance but are perfectly edible and nutritious and often delicious.
These can often be purchased for a lower price. So ask your vendor if he or she has seconds (you’ll probably have to ask, as these items still are rarely put out for display). You may not want to serve them as-is to your dinner guests, but if you are chopping and dicing or making stews or preserves, what difference does appearance make?
7. Become a regular
If you become a farmers market regular, you’ll almost certainly get to know your favorite vendors and may quickly get to be on a first-name basis. They will freely share advice about how to prepare the items they sell and what’s in stock, coming up, or at the end of their growing seasons. All reason enough to shop there.
But… and I hope I’m not giving away any trade secret here… if you get to know producers and buy regularly from their stands, you are more likely to get a personal discount. That is also true if you introduce your friends and family to become customers. It works in bars and restaurants, so why not at farmers markets?
We’d love to hear about great prices you have found at your local farmers markets, or any additional tips you have to share!
Listen to this Green Divas Food-philes episode where The Green Divas chat about all their foodie adventures in Chicago!
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