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Southland Farmers' Market Association
Why Shop at a Certified Farmers Market
Do you really know where your fruits and vegetables come from? Certified products are grown or processed in California by the farmer who sells them to you. Products may not be brought in from another state or imported from outside the country. You wont be able to find pineapples or mangos at a certified market, however, California-grown sub-tropical fruits as they come into season can be very tasty: persimmons, Asian pears, and more. You wont find all varieties of produce year-round only when theyre in season locally.
To ensure fresh and healthy produce, there are strict guidelines the growers must follow to be certified. Each grower must obtain a certificate, issued only after inspection by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which must be presented to the market manager. It specifically lists the produce the farmer is growing. The state ensures that quality control and health standards are maintained in fruits, vegetables, eggs or any other food products that are offered for direct sale to consumers.
Knowing where your food comes from is important, but ultimately its freshness and taste that count. Since produce can lose nutritional value and flavor after being picked, the best way to get the freshest produce is to shop at a certified farmers market.
Photos by David Karp
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