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Best Vegetables To Buy Local

June 21, 2012, 6:06 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Best Vegetables To Buy Local
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Hundreds of people shop at farmers markets in Sioux Falls this time of year, which can be good for your health and the local economy.

"I bought tomatoes, cucumbers, and mixed greens," Voehl said.

Voehl shops at farmers markets a couple times a week. She even plans her meals around what she can buy locally.

"I'm a seasonal eater and I think that's the best way to enjoy what you eat," Voehl said.

But if you're on a budget, what are some of the best buys? Avera Dietitian Nikki Ver Steeg says leafy greens and items you usually wouldn't find at the grocery store, such as purple bell peppers, are good options.

"A lot of times they'll have different specials and that's something to keep in mind. So, you choose those and get a better deal and it's more for your value," Ver Steeg said.

Farmers markets are also sometimes an opportunity to eat vegetables that aren't exposed to as many pesticides. Sweet bell peppers, lettuce and cucumbers are a few of the vegetables on the dirty dozen list.

"The dirty dozen list gives you the top 12 dirtiest fruits and vegetables. Those are the ones that you would like to find organic because they have a lot of pesticides and are grown in potentially hazardous types of things," Ver Steeg said.

But Ver Steeg says because a vegetable is raised locally doesn't necessarily mean it's organic.

"It's always a good idea to still ask the people who are producing the food a little bit about what they do with pesticides so you have an idea on that," Ver Steeg said.

In addition to produce, Ver Steeg says another item you should consider at farmers markets is meat because it's often drug-free and hormone-free.

"I've always had a standard of buying local food. If I can't buy local, I buy organic," Voehl said.

Because Voehl says not only is the food often healthier but also tastes better.

"You're talking about produce that's picked the day you eat it, whereas in the grocery store you get things that have been there for weeks that are grown only half-way and ripened later," Voehl said.

If you would like to try out a Farmers Market, there are several of them in the Sioux Falls including the Sioux Empire Farmers Market

Sioux Empire Farmers Market:
Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m. at the Kohl's parking lot on Louise Ave.
Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the 8th and Railroad Center.

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