It’s National Farmers Market Week (August 3-9)! As a measure of access to fresh fruits and vegetables with the most nutrients, the ACSM American Fitness Index® considers the number of farmers markets in each metro area.

Farmers markets can provide fresh and locally grown produce to metro areas where access to healthy food can be limited.  Produce that travels thousands of miles to make it to the supermarket looses freshness and nutritional quality. Buying local ensures produce is available to you at its prime freshness and nutritional value.

Farmers markets also provide a great excuse to get in some walking, carrying groceries and meet people in your community.

Need more reasons to visit your local farmers market?

Here are the Top 10 Reasons to Shop at a Farmers Market according to Nutrition.gov.

10.  Farmers markets are easy to find.

9.  SNAP and WIC cards are accepted at most farmers markets.

8.  You can try a new fruit or vegetable!

7.  Farmers often have good recommendations on ways to prepare their products.

6.  Buy foods and see how they fit with ChooseMyPlate.

5.  Farmers markets can be important anchors for vibrant communities.

4.  It’s a great way to get your kids involved.

3.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients.

2.  Shopping at farmers markets supports your local farmers and keeps the money you spend closer to home.

1.Freshly picked ripe food is at its peak in flavor and nutrition.

target goal

The report scores the number of farmers’ markets in a metro areas based on the target goal of 13.100 per 1,000,000 residents.  How did your MSA do in 2014?