Plastic, The Sun and BPAs

It seems everywhere you turn, there’s news of a new cancer causing substance. Research has shown however, that plastics contain the chemical bisphenol A, which is proven to cause various forms of cancer.

So, just how can you protect the health of yourself  and your family, without feeling overwhelmed? Here’s how:

Tips to Prevent BPA Exposure:

  • If you must use plastics, keep containers out of the sun. BPA leaks into foods and liquids when plastic containers are heated.
  • Avoid placing heated or warm foods in plastic containers.
  • Reduce the consumption of tin canned foods.
  • Use glass to store foods instead of plastic.
  • Eat fresh foods whenever possible.

Another way to protect your family’s health is by shopping for local and seasonal foods. These include meats, poultry, dairy and eggs that do not contain hormones or antibiotics; or fruits and vegetables that have been grown without the use of harmful pesticides.

One of the best ways to source these types of foods is at your local farmers’ market. There is a wide assortment of healthy, wholesome and fresh foods to be found. There are plenty of varieties of foods to be found, which are distinctive in flavors, and completely BPA-free.

Options for BPA-free Foods:

  • Preserved and Canned Foods – including jams, pickles, condiments, salsas, kombucha which are preserved naturally in safe, BPA-free glass jars, liners and lids.
  • Artisan Cheeses – which contain no preservatives, artificial flavors or antibiotics. These cheeses are made from organic, grass-fed cows and goats.
  • Wine, Olive Oil, prepared artisanal foods at the markets.

Scout around the premises of the market. Ask vendors for more information on the source of products if needed, and get on to a healthy start for you and all members of the family.

The Hazards of Drinking Soda

Most regular soda drinkers are aware that soft drinks are bad for the health. How bad?

  • Soda or diet sodas contain chemical ingredients and artificial sweeteners like Aspartame used in diet versions which is made up of three chemicals.  It is used because it’s about 200 times sweeter than table sugar. There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption.  side effects
  • Soda cans contain BPA chemicals
  • The value of 16 fl. oz. of soda is approximately 128 useless calories.  The average American drinks about 57 gallons of soft drinks each year.
  • The carbonated beverage is linked to diabetes, weight gain, and other types of chronic conditions. Some scientists believe that the unceasing demands that a soda habit places on the pancreas may ultimately leave it unable to keep up with the body’s need for insulin.
  • Tooth Decay-Soda eats up and dissolves the tooth enamel8. Researches9 say that soft drinks are responsible for doubling or tripling the incidence of tooth decay.
  • High-fructose corn syrup, which makes up a huge percentage of soda, is also associated with several diseases when consumed in excess.
  • Kidney stones- because of colas’ acidity and radical mineral imbalances. Your body must buffer the acidity of soft drinks with calcium from your own bones. As this calcium is eliminated through your urine, it slowly forms kidney stones and weakens your bones in the process.
  • Phosphoric acid that’s found in sodas is proven to leach calcium from the bones, which in turn can lead to osteoporosis.
  • The caffeine in soda can cause nervousness and anxiety.
  • Increased blood pressure, heart burn, dehydration

There are many natural alternatives to soda, which are discussed below.

Healthier Beverages:

  • Pure, fresh water
  • Natural, homemade juices, that are made from fresh, local fruits and vegetables
  • Coconut water
  • Soy milk, goat milk  and other artisan dairy beverages that are rich in minerals and calcium
  • Tea. Any kind of tea – herbal, green or black – is rich in antioxidants, which were shown to protect the body form many health problems


How To Stop Drinking Soda:

  • If you find yourself addicted to soda, and you wish to kick the habit for good, do this gradually by swapping one serving of soda with one replacement of a healthy beverage, every day.
  • Go cold turkey. Make up your mind to have good health that you can control, by eating only fresh, local and seasonal foods and beverages. Rather than weaning bad habits, some folks may find it easier to throw out all types of toxic foods from the pantry all at once, and then start anew.

Drinking soda not only causes detriments to the health, it also contributes to the heaping piles of cans and plastics in the landfills, which is part of the global warming epidemic. Embracing healthy living isn’t only good for you; it’s good for the planet too.

Why Support our Farmers Market and Local Farmers?

It’s about building relationships and knowing where your food comes from. It’s about running into your neighbor on a spring morning and comparing your market “finds” and recipes over a cup of coffee and a taco. It’s about breaking bread with friends, sharing a steaming plate of fresh, local, greens, verdant salads, vivid orange carrots and flaming peppers with your family, all grown by people you know. The market acts as an incubator for small business and keeps local money local. Besides these things, your food requires less fossil fuels and emissions to get to you, and you know that the people who grew what you eat are being paid fairly for their goods. Everyone wins!

That’s the why and now here is the must:

Small, family farming and ranching have not been lucrative (as far as money goes) lifestyles for some time now. It usually takes family land or small pieces of land put together piece by piece to make a decent living. And, don’t get them started on the taxes! But, the lifestyle it does provide is one that seems to be very satisfying …even with droughts and freezes, bugs and weeds, funguses and molds. These farmers have a fortitude that I thought was lost hundreds of years ago. After the freeze last week I was accused of thinking of the farmers as” poor and abused” because I was desperately trying to get some press on the issue of farmers losing their winter crops and that some could be without income until April or May. Here is what I heard: Carla, we’ll just replant and salvage what we can, we’re farmers and used to having to begin again. And, that was OK with them. The thrill of a beautiful strawberry or summer tomato must be really big for them to put up the weather we’ve had lately.

Please help me support these families as they support you and our market by offering whatever they have for you in the next weeks. One farmer came last week with only eggs and his boys to experience the positive warmth that our shoppers shared with them and to show support of this market. One came 200 miles with sweet potatoes and some cabbage for the same reason. Honestly, only 2 of our farmers didn’t make it last week because of crop damage.

These next few weeks will be tough; we must hang in there while they plant yet again.

CPFM Market Sprout ~ Hayley

This week’s Market Sprout is Hayley.  She is 4 years old and loves coming to the market.  She told us that her favorite treat at the market is the pops from Mom and Pops.  She couldn’t pick a favorite flavor because she loves them all!  At home Hayley loves to play with her little sister and her pretty pony.  She wanted to show us her pretty pony today in her picture.  We caught up with Hayley and her family at Betty’s Glutenless Gluttony.  They told us they come to the market as often as they can, which ends up being about every other week.  Look for Hayley and her pretty pony at the market and give them a wave hello!

How To Keep Cool In The Summer

It’s that time of year again when barbecues, pool time and fun outdoors are the main theme. However, with temperatures rising to over 100 degrees, how can you enjoy the weather, without the sunburn or dehydration?

Below are few tips for you and all members of the family, including Fido.

Tips for Keeping Family and Pets Cool During Summer:

  • During short or long trips, carry fresh, cool water that’s stored in an insulated container.
  • There are also a few cool gears made especially for dogs, such as cooling vests and fans. If you walk around the local farmers’ market, it’s a delightful scene to watch kids cooling off with misting sprays. Hint: take one along with you.
  • Carry out errands early in the morning or late in the evening, when the scorching heat is less.  Think about how it would feel for you to walk barefoot on the scorching asphalt mid-day…that is what your dog is experiencing.
  • Never leave children or dogs in the car for any period of time.
  • Make frozen fruit treats at home, as a delicious alternative to artificially made Popsicles.
  • Use a kiddie-pool for pets and kids to cool down in once you return home.
  • Buy seasonal fruits and veggies that can be made into refreshing summer treats. Popular options include locally grown watermelons, cucumbers or peaches, which can be frozen for coolness, or grilled as a side dish.
  • Don’t forget to wear a hat, eye wear and sunscreen when making any outdoor trip.

It’s not unusual for shoppers of the Texas Farmers’ Market to take all members of the household with them, including the family dog. And who could blame them? Fresh air and exercise are necessary for good health.

At the Texas Farmers’ Markets, we want all of our patrons to be safe and happy. The heat is on, outdoors and in the community – the warmth can be felt as locals support farmers, and vice verse. Farmers support healthy families with local and fresh foods and refreshments, all summer long.