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El Paso (KDBC) — Straight from the farm food options are growing as more and more people are cutting out the middle man at the grocery store and instead are buying their produce from the farmers themselves.
Organic, gluten free, non-GMO, less sodium and protein-packed, consumers have a craving for "healthy" food options.
"More and more people are becoming aware of these types of markets and they know the benefit of buying organic and locally grown," said Silvia Villa-Roybal.
That's why farmers set up bright and early every Saturday at the farmers market in Downtown El Paso and people said they like seeing what they have to offer.
“The variety of the home grown, homemade materials that they have to offer here,” said Andy Pacheco.
Raul Rodriguez is one of those farmers.
“What you are buying from me, I grow,” said Rodriguez. “It is 100% organic. It doesn't get better than that."
He said he has noticed an increase in people coming to the farmers market and once you stop by one time you're going to come here again.
"A lot of my customers are people that came the week before, or the week before, or last year," he said.
Rodriguez said because you are buying directly from a farmer, you will know exactly how your food is grown rather than from a large chain grocery store.
"Once you taste the difference, you'll be hooked," said Rodriguez.
And customers agree.
"Maybe because it is home grown, it's organic. I don't know, it just has a different taste to it as opposed to getting it from a store," said Debora Holguin.
But the new trend hasn't helped the loss of family farms.
According to an op-ed written by a chef for the New York Times, in the last five years, the U.S. lost nearly 100,000 mid-sized farms.
There are other downsides too, like not having a full selection year round.
"Say for tomatoes, we can't grow tomatoes late in the fall or in the winter," said Rodriguez.
A small price to pay for home grown food.
“The freshest is the way to go," said Holguin.
The famers market downtown is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
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