DECEPTIVE FARMERS MARKETS
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© June 2017, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
We suggest avoiding most farmers markets. The two reasons are:
1. Most of the produce is not organically grown. They may tell you it is, but often it is not. People who donŐt want you healthy often control farmers markets, particularly in cities, and they make sure the real organically grown produce does not get to the farmers market.
2. Some of the ŇfarmersÓ at farmers markets are not farmers at all. They are simply con artists who buy some produce at a grocery store, dress up as farmers, and resell the produce at a much higher price.
This is a tempting scam, as many of these local markets do not check carefully who is selling the produce.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO AVOID THE DECEPTION?
If you insist on visiting these markets, there is a little you can do. This includes:
1. Is it really fresh? Make sure the produce looks very fresh. If it does not, it may not be locally grown at all.
2. Ask lots of questions of the farmers. Ask him how he controls bugs, and so on. If the answers are not clear or he hesitates, he (or she) may not be a real farmer. However, they may lie, so this is not a reliable method.
3. Peek at the boxes the produce is in. This may require that you go around behind the booth and their truck. Just note anything suspicious or a name that is not local.
4. Shop ugly. Real local produce is usually not all uniform and pretty, like the food in the supermarket. If the produce looks too uniform, it may not be locally grown.
5. Play detective. If the farmers at your market are real and local, you should be able to ask for their business card and drop by and see them. Ask for an address. Look them up online. If it is a real working farm, that is what you are looking for.
6. Beware of any farmers market in the parking lot of a supermarket. Sometimes, a supermarket will just put some produce outside, dress up a few employees in farmers outfits, and call it a farmers market.
7. Also beware of food stands on the side of the road, especially in high tourist areas, or people selling food out of the back of a pickup truck. Do not assume that this means it is a real roadside farm stand. The con artists operate here, as well.