#11: Farmers Market

Preservatives, pesticides, artificial colors and flavors? No way. You’re sick of “The Man” getting his hands in your fruits and vegetables. What happened to food just being food? You want your produce the way your grandparents bought it: from the farmers (or at least the dreadlocked middleman who brings them to your local farmers market). You’re going back to nature the way The Creator intended. It’s time to take your health back.

Unfortunately, there’s a reason it’s called a “Farmers Market.” You live in a big city, far away from anything even remotely resembling a farm. So, just like a Civil War reenactor, your desire to relive the past is going to come at both a social and financial price.

For starters, you’ll notice the fruits at the Farmers Market are a lot smaller than their genetically enhanced brethren, and in a truly dramatic twist of irony, they cost a heck of a lot more. Yes, it would appear the inclusion of chemicals somehow makes produce cheaper and bigger, but you’re willing to overlook it because you’re out there interacting with the real people. Real, real people. Like, homeless people. Yeah, that hip bohemian you were sampling peach slices with is actually just a homeless guy, which does totally make sense, since there are all these free samples and derelicts do blend in pretty well with the Farmers Market’s nonconformist clientele.

Luckily, you’re not alone with the Urban Outfitted/clandestine transients of the streets, because this place is crawling with like-minded business professionals. They, too, are looking to rise up and overthrow their supermarket overlords in the name of the organic produce revoluti-OHHHHH MY GOD! You just had your foot run over by a stroller! That’s what happens when you literally stop to smell the fresh cut roses in front of a rich, suburban, power mom. With romantic notions of farm life being replaced by the throbbing in your toes, you’ll purchase a week’s supply of produce to avoid having to come back, knowing full well that there’s no way you’ll ever eat it all before it goes bad. Who really eats an apple a day who’s not already a horse? No one.

While you should be eating better by buying locally sourced produce, remember this is still a business, and farmers still need to make money. Go into this knowing you will get overcharged for a ridiculously small amount of goods, and that’s just going to be the way it is. And like that fourteen dollar pineapple in your NPR tote bag, develop a thick skin to prepare yourself for dealing with the Farmers Market crowd. Now with that, a hearty hats off to you for making the effort to live healthier, but just be sure your new diet doesn’t poison your bank account.