Published on April 22nd, 2014 | by Maggie Ross
Eating fresh on a college budget using local markets
Saving money, eating better, and a healthier lifestyle are just a few results from shopping from local produce stands.
In Lakeland, access to local produce is only a short drive away from the Florida Southern College campus. With convenient locations and affordable pricing, it makes shopping for healthy alternatives easier for college students.
Former student Kawon Hunter advocates clean eating and uses produce stands throughout Lakeland.
“I started buying fresh produce once I moved off campus,” Hunter said. “To be honest, there are not many options to buy fresh produce on campus.”
Hunter recommends stocking your fridge with avocados, kale, lemons, ginger, strawberries, oranges and onions.
“Others I pick up depending on the peak season,” Hunter said.
According to TimesHealthyRecord.com, buying local produce ensures that the fruits and vegetables you are consuming are at their peak. This means they are full of the vitamins and minerals you want.
Local produce can be found in Lakeland every day of the week. Locations include Uncle Bob’s, The Lakeland Farmers Market, and the Downtown Lakeland Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.
Some college students feel it is too challenging to buy fresh produce off campus. Student Stephanie Fields feels that students who may lack transportation or funds may be the victims of not having fresh produce at their fingertips.
Fields encourages students to shop in the Moc Mart and Terrace Café for fruits and healthy snack alternatives. She feels that this saves money and is also a fresh choice for many students.
Another source, Red Tractor Produce, allows online ordering of your produce. For $20-$30, you fill a box and it is shipped for free to your door – the ultimate convenience for busy college students.
Hunter uses other methods of shopping for fresh produce as well
“Red Tractor Produce allows you to order fresh produce which is compiled from what’s available from local growers that week,” Hunter said. “I also like to venture down to the farmers market downtown Saturday mornings.”
Hunter says his resourcefulness comes from taking an active interest in his health.
According to the Farmers Market Authority, purchasing local produce reduces pollution as well as benefits your overall health. In addition, the FMA stresses buying from local farmers to help stimulate the local economy.
Shopping for your produce off campus is more affordable and easier than most college students think. For more information on buying local, visit LocalHarvest.Org.