Eating local is more than a trend or a fad; it’s a lifestyle of more than 75% of the United States.
There’s a variety of foods that people love to purchase locally: vegetables, bread, artisan products, eggs, and milk products. Another popular item is local mushrooms.
If you love throwing mushrooms into a dish or using them for medicinal purposes, nothing can beat the fresh flavor of locally grown mushrooms.
Keep reading to learn more about mushrooms and why you should pick some up at your local farmer’s market.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
If you’re one of those people who happen to love mushrooms, you’re in luck! These little fungi boast some serious health benefits such as:
- Vitamins, especially B vitamins
- Possible cancer protection
- Folic acid
- Aid in heart health
Whether your consuming mushrooms or thinking about throwing them in your salad, you’ll reap some great benefits.
Why Eat Locally? 7 Health Benefits of Local Mushrooms
While you can shop at your big-chain grocery store for many different types of mushrooms, the best place to find mushrooms is your local farmer’s market or grocery store.
Here are 7 reasons why you should buy some mushrooms during your next local grocery trip.
1. Feed Your Economy
When you spend money at your local grocery, the money is fueled into your neighborhood and goes to support businesses and people. The money is used to help your local surroundings flourish.
Not to mention that the service you receive is from farmers who truly appreciate your business because they’re directly impacted by your shopping. Because of this, you’re likely to encounter friendlier and more helpful service. Your neighborhood appreciates your support!
When foods like fruits and vegetables are grown well outside the boundaries of your localities, it may take days for it to reach your city or town. Once the food is ripened and picked, it begins losing its flavor.
Food that is grown closest to you will retain it’s flavor and color, making it better suited to eat, and even more beautiful to look at!
3. Higher Nutritional Value
The same line of thinking with flavor is also true with nutritional value. When foods are picked at their peak, they retain a higher nutritional value.
Traveling on a truck for days causes nutritional content to decrease. Buying foods locally means you receive more nutritious food than foods that come from afar.
4. Help The Environment
Did you know that buying local foods can help the environment as well?
All the traveling done by trucks can leave a hefty carbon footprint. Local food doesn’t need to travel that far and reduces the toxic impact on the environment.
5. Less Plastic
When you buy produce at the grocery store, what do you notice about it – especially mushrooms?
Most of the mushrooms are covered with some type of plastic.
Plastic is dangerous to the environment because it takes many years to decompose and pollutes oceans and other parts of the world making it difficult for animals and organisms to thrive.
Purchasing mushrooms at your local market means less plastic waste on the earth. You can even bring your bags to carry your produce picks, reducing plastic use even further.
6. Know Your Farmers
Another great thing about buying local mushrooms is that you get to build a relationship with local farmers.
This is a great way to understand more about where your food comes from, their methods and philosophies around farming. Buying from a local farmer allows you to ask questions about organic produce, soil quality, and anything else that might pique your interest about their farming practices.
Mushrooms are particularly sprayed with different pesticides in conventional farming, so be sure to inquire to your local farmer about how their mushrooms are grown and cultivated.
7. Saves Money
Most of the time the food at farmer’s markets costs less than it does in the store and your weekly food budget will thank you. Many grocery stores will increase the price to cover other costs and this means more money spent on less-nutritious foods. Buying from your local farmer helps keep more money in your wallet and more nutritious food on your plate.
Shopping locally is, even more, cost-effective if you have the opportunity to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk is helpful especially if you have a large family or room to store food, which means fewer trips to the grocery store for you.
Farmer’s Market Tips
When you’re shopping for the best local mushrooms and other foods at your local farmers market, there are a few tips to keep in mind!
Choose mushrooms that are firm and have sleek skin, but not too dry
If you can see the gills underneath, this means the flavor is bolder, and in contrast, if the gills are covered the flavor is milder.
Bring your bags to store your purchases to reduce plastic waste
When you return home, keep your mushrooms in the bag or container in which they were purchased to preserve freshness.
Use mushrooms within a week for the best flavor, but if you want to freeze them, be sure to cook them first.
Ready to Buy Local Mushrooms?
Choosing to fill your basket with local mushrooms is an economical and healthy choice. Mushrooms that are grown just miles from you boast a healthier flavor, color, and your money is helping your neighborhood. Make sure to scope out mushrooms on your next farmer’s market visit.
Want to learn more about mushrooms? Check out our website for information, recipes, and all the best mushroom-growing kits!