Show Notes — Farmers Market

On this episode we have a sit down with Jackie Allen, founder of the Hen’s Roost and several farmers markets in Bakersfield. We discuss why people should shop at farmers markets, the benefits of knowing your farmers, the problems with industrial produce and pesticides, and we look at the “dirty dozen” most polluted foods of 2015. Jackie is a really interesting guest. She cares about the Bakersfield community, what they eat, where they shop, and supporting local businesses.

Jackie runs three of the Bakersfield farmer’s markets (soon to be four, as she will open a Saturday night market downtown in Fall of 2015), so it prompted a cool discussion about knowing what you eat. It was sort of a follow up to a previous episode where we talked about how bad fast food and industrial food can be for you. This is the exact opposite!

Why should someone shop at a farmers market instead of a grocery store? That is a question many people ask, and one that Jackie talked about. First off, you get to know your farmers. If you eat an apple, you can look that farmer in the face and ask questions. Where was it grown? What was used to kill the bugs? Exactly what chemicals, if any, did he/she use in growing it? You can talk to a real human being, get to know them on a weekly basis, and eat the food that they grew personally, typically with the sweat of their entire family on a small local farm.

Also, farmers markets will give you local produce. Some stats I read said that the average food item in a major grocery store traveled between 1300 and 1500 miles before it hits your plate. Also, it is picked 7-14 days before you eat it, so it has to be artificially retarded or ripened by a factory style food warehouse to hit the grocery store at just the right moment. However, farmers markets have produce that was picked often the day they sell it and was grown close to you. It’s better for the environment, and it has better nutrition since it is ripened naturally.

This week, we also looked at the idea of organic produce. I know “Organic” is just a label by the government to most people, but to many people it is a lot more than that. If something is truly grown organically (regardless of what the government calls it), then it uses natural farming methods and avoids chemicals that kill the biotics in the soil and pollute our environment and bodies. Most small growers at a farmers market can’t call themselves organic because they don’t have the big money to pay the government for such certifications, but in any way that you consider something to be organic, they are. They just can’t tell you they are.

Why does organic matter? Because pesticides stay in our blood streams, cause cancers and other health problems, and are nasty for any number of reasons. The Environmental Working Group, a non-partisan, non-profit group, releases the “Dirty Dozen” most polluted foods list every year. On this episode, I talk about all of the fruits and veggies on the list. You don’t want to miss it, so give the episode a listen! There is also a “Clean Fifteen” on the EWP’s website that you can go to and a really cool feature they offer at ewg.org/foodscores to how polluted or healthy your food is.

So, bottom line, go buy healthy food at a farmers market, get to know your farmer, and support local, fresh produce in your own community. If you happen to be in the Bakersfield area, you can find all of Jackie’s farmers markets at https://www.facebook.com/TheHensRoost/. Their Oildale location is probably my favorite. I’ve never been there because, come on, I’m black, and I don’t tread north of the river much (I know that is a stereotype, but I get that look from a lot of people over there just there enough to be uncomfortable and want to leave). But! The Oildale farmers market uses all profits to feed the elderly, and that’s about the coolest thing I’ve heard all month. Jackie Allen talks a good talk about being local, but she also walks a mean walk.

Plus, she gave us free homemade peanut butter from her company PB Jack’s!

That’s all for now. We at Sofa King Podcast want to thank Savage Radio, KSVG in Bakersfield for airing this episode. As always, they air on Thursday night’s at 5:00 PM and then drop on the internet for downloading a day or two later. See you all on my next post.

 

 

 

 

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