Over the past 2 years we’ve really gotten into shopping at the Farmers Market, supporting CSA’s and being advocates for GMO Labeling. But it wasn’t always like that; about 4 years ago we used to shop at Safeway/Vons – and back then there was no organic produce and a lot of foods containing GMO’s.

Peter and I would argue about spending $60-80 on food for the week. He would say “that’s too expensive”…. and I would say “it’s mostly food for your lunches!”

Haha, oh some things never change;)

So what made us change where and how we shopped?


Shop Local


Well, we switched our diet to a plant-based one (you can read all about that HERE).

But when did we become so into Farmers Markets and CSA’s?

Well it was a gradual process. It started with removing animal products; we learned about factory farms and all of the antibiotics fed to the animals… those animals that ended up in our refrigerator and then on our dinner plates.

So we started switching out the animals for plants (that’s an entirely different post :), but then we started learning about organic produce… which meant our diet now had no pesticides, no chemicals, no growth hormones, no antibiotics and no GMO’s.

We pretty much thought our food was organic while growing up… but apparently that wasn’t the case.

Our food was being grown with chemicals…

Chemicals that lead to all types of short and long-term health effects, birth defects, autoimmune diseases, child and adult cancers… scary stuff! Not to mention the GMO’S; which were banned years ago in Europe and Japan due to serious health risks. When we learned about that we were sold!


sweet potatoes

So that’s organic, but what about Farmers Markets and CSA’s?

Well, I think it was moving to Beautiful Sunny San Diego:) The Farmers Markets here are amazing and go year-round!  Being in that environment, talking and working with the farmers had a huge impact on us.  It was then that we learned produce can lose up to 40% of its nutrients with in 1 week of being harvested!

Wow! Being able to taste the freshness and knowing that the produce we’re eating is grown clean, and harvested within 24 hours of us picking it up… Sign me up!


And since joining a CSA Program we feel even healthier than when we switched to a plant-based diet. More energy, clearer skin and the taste… It just keeps getting better!


So my thoughts in posting this is to ask you to:

Think about the produce you are eating…

  • Is it in season?
  • If not, how far did it have to travel?
  • How do you think that effected the environment?
  • How many nutrients do you think it still contains?

Or what about that spinach you’re buying?

  • Is it pre-packaged?
  • Sold for a really low price?
  • Where did it come from?
  • How long do you think its been hanging out in the package?

What about that juice bar you frequent?

  • Is it a chain?
  • Do they use organic produce?
  • (If not do you really want to be paying for a concentrated shot of pesticides?!)

If you start to look a little closer (even asking the hard questions) I think you would be surprised. It surprised us when we found out a big chain, “healthy” vegan restaurant, uses MSG in their food… and it’s not organic either!


Now I don’t want to be an extremest and I know you’re probably thinking “Everything in Moderation” but that’s not the way to true sustainable health. It’s not going to help you in the long run and it’s not going to help this beautiful planet.

I know some might not have access to fresh seasonal produce (do you hear that… it’s Sunny San Diego calling your name:)) you just have to do the best you can. Whole Foods Market does a great job of labeling when produce is local and organic, as well as many other health food stores.

Sarah and Peter

And I know price might be a factor for some, but I have to tell you, Peter and I are making less money then we were 4 years ago and we’re spending 5x as much on food, so it’s doable but may take some shifts in your priorities.

In the end all you can do is your best. I wanted to share because I think this would have been something I would have liked to read 4 years ago, sometimes things like this never cross our mind. And if I am being totally honest… All these non-organic juice bars popping up are getting under my skin;)

I want to know your thoughts……..

Why don’t you move to California and shop at the farmers market with us? :)

Do you buy organic? Local? Shop at the Farmers Market? Why or Why Not?


    3 replies to "Why Farmers Markets and CSA’s are the Secret Ingredient"

    • Olivia Lane

      I will definitely move to CA and shop at the farmers’ market with you guys! LOL! I love CSAs. I used to belong to one in Brooklyn. I wish we had a good accessible one here in PVD. Maybe I need to look harder. Thanks for the reminder. Love this post! Your enthusiasm for healthy living is contagious and reasonable.

    • Sarah O'Toole

      Yes! Olivia you should:) Search girl, Search! Its so worth it!

    • Crista

      Farmers Markets are my jam – they are the most exciting part of my week sometimes :) soooo much pretty food to look at (and eat!!!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.