The Alliance for Food and Farming consumer guide assists consumers on how to choose fresh produce vendors based on food safety questions.

Fresh produce in retail stores is generally subject to government laws and regulations regarding food safety measures and pesticide use. However growers who sell direct to consumers at farmers markets are generally exempt from such rules, according to a news release from the Watsonville, Calif.-based non-profit group.

The Alliance has developed a list of questions you might want to chat to your farmer about at your local market.

  • How long have they been farming and where is the farm?
  • When was the produce harvested?
  • How long has your farm been certified organic?
  • What does it take to become certified organic?
  • Why is it important to be certified organic?
  • Does “pesticide free” mean you don’t spray anything at all on your crops?
  • What do you do to control pests and diseases?
  • What food safety practices do you use on your farm?
  • Do you test your irrigation water for safety?
  • What type of fertilizers do you use?

Taking the questions along with you could be helpful. However if you want to find your local market that has certified organic food to take away the questions and enjoy selecting your produce visit the list of farmers markets where you can search by location and don’t forget to look for the USDA certified organic logo.