POSTED: Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 8:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — There's new evidence that even more people are turning to someone other than the local grocery store to supply food for the dinner table.
In the last decade the number of farmer's markets increased by 150 percent.
Their main attraction is locally grown food, and their popularity has has even given us a new word: Localvore.
"Someone who tries to eat food which is grown within a hundred miles of where they live or where they buy their food," explains Consumer Reports health reporter Jamie Hirsh.
Hirsh asked experts whether locally grown healthier.
She found locally grown produce and other foods lack the preservatives and high sodium content often found in packaged foods, but the real advantage with farmers markets is the opportunity to actually talk to the farmer who grew the vegetables or the rancher who raised the meat.
"You can ask questions about how it was produced, was it grown organically, were pesticides used, what were the animals fed if it's poultry or beef," she says.
Scientific evidence has shown fresh food is more nutritious, and Hirsh says customers find it tastier.
"You know it makes sense because peak freshness is usually peak taste for most foods," she adds.
That makes the sometimes higher price a bit easier to swallow.