Aspirus | Aspire | Spring 2019

4 aspire Spring 2019 GREAT PEOPLE-WATCHING, lively conversation, the sights and sounds and—especially—flavors of the season. What’s not to like about the farmers market? A farmers market is a great place to find fresh fruits and vegetables, support fellow community members and try new things. “Try to eat a rainbow of colors such as tomatoes, carrots, beans, eggplant, strawberries and fresh herbs,” said Carolyn Kelk, registered dietitian at Aspirus Langlade Hospital. “Don’t be afraid to ask the vendor for a sample or recipes. Sometimes trying a new vegetable is the perfect way to stretch your taste buds.” If you’re new to the farmers market scene, it can be a little intimidating. Or maybe you’re a regular, but you’ve fallen into a routine. Read on for some tips on making your farmers market outing the best it can be: Plan and prioritize. Are you after the most picturesque produce? Then it’s best to beat the crowds and arrive early. That’s when you’ll find the freshest selections and the most variety. If you want the lowest prices, go ahead and sleep in. You can find some great deals as the market winds down and vendors become eager to sell off their remaining wares. Aspirusholds seasonal farmersmarkets inWausauon theAspirusWausau Hospital Campus; inWisconsin Rapids on the Aspirus Doctors Clinic campus; and inAntigo in the Aspirus LangladeHospital café. The Aspirus farmersmarkets usually start inmid-June and run through September. PUTHEALTHON THEMENU Talk to your primary care provider about developing a healthy eating plan or consider meeting with an Aspirus nutrition counselor. If you need help finding a provider, go online to or call the Aspirus Customer Contact Center at 800.847.4707. Making the most of the farmers market Stock up on staples, but branch out too. Maybe you can’t get enough heirloom tomatoes. Or your kids eat berries and pears like candy. You can buy a week’s worth in one go. But why stop at the familiar? While browsing the market, you may find foods you’ve never tried before. If a piece of produce is new to you, don’t be shy. Ask the vendor about the best ways to prepare it. You may even get a sample or a recipe. Use a critical eye. As with any food shopping experience, it’s important to keep safety in mind. A few points to remember: X X Meats, eggs, dairy, fish, and precut fruits and vegetables should be displayed on ice. If they’re not, pass them by. X X Bring several totes to keep produce and raw meat separate. Bring an insulated bag or a cooler and ice for meat, eggs and dairy products. X X Steer clear of milk, ciders and juices that have not been pasteurized. X X Fruits and vegetables from the farmers market need to be washed just like produce from the grocery store. A rinse or scrub with plain water is best. It’s best to bring cash to the farmers market. But many markets accept alternative forms of payment, such as checks, debit cards or other food assistance. Carolyn Kelk, RD