PAGE 4 I THE MEREDITH HERALD | NOVEMBER 4, 2009 lENCE & LOCAL FOOD IN THE TRIANGLE Jen Watson Contributing Writer I've had the opportunity to visit a few iocai farmei^s markets in the triangle, so I thought I'd share a bit about my experiences. When one thinks about going to visit a farmer's market, the. first one that comes to mind Is the NC State Farmer's Market. I've been many times to this particular one and have never ieft empty-handed. The space is huge, and it includes an outdoor and indoor area a&well as 2 restau rants. I recommend going early for breakfast at the farmer’s market Photo courtesy: http://3.bp.blogspot.comCkqYVtlZ5C5k/ St_UJFLMzl/AAAAAAAAArc/dETWF3qPXUw/s1600-h/fm1. iP9 restaurant; the biscuits are amaz ing! However, as much as I love this place, the market ovenAfhelms me every time I visit. I like the wide variety, but having so many ven dors in one location is too much for me. On my last visit I developed a strategy where I visited the vendors coming from surrounding counties. Many farms from Johnston County are always present at the State Farmer’s Market, and looking for these vendors keeps the Market from being too ovenAfhelming. The Carrboro Farmer's Market is my favorite mar ket in the area hands down. It is much more intimate than the large, bustling state version. Also, I ap preciated the fact that all food must be grown within a 50 mile radius of Carrboro to be sold at the Carrtoro Farmer's Market. This means.that buying from these farmers ensures the food on your plate hasn’t wasted time and energy traveling to you. Another endearing trait about this market is that the person Photo courtesy: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kqYVtlZ5C5k/St_VN2PY- cWI/AAAAAAAAArk/rHCBvOEzi24/s1600-h/^DSC0012.jpg offering you fresh produce is the farmer. Often at larger markets with less stringent rules, the farmer is not the person you buy your food from. However, you really do get your food straight from the source in Carrboro .Both markets offer a wide variety of fresh, seasonal produce as well as specialty items and baked goods year-round. There are many other farmer's markets in the area; be sure to check out the one closest to you. If you've never visited a Farm er’s Market before, I recommend starting with a smaller, community- located one. You'll likely have an opportunity to talk with the farmer (who is always eager to tell you all about his or her selection) and not be so ovenArhelmed. Once you have an idea of what going to mar ket is like, visit the State Farmer’s Market: it's definitely an experience you don’t want to miss! AS SEEN ON TV Elisabeth Lynne Bjork Staff Writer “This stuff really works! Only $19.95!” The exuberant face looks out into the camera, a look of hopeful truthfulness in his eyes. The lazy husband sits up straight in his recliner, “Quick, honey, get the phone!” he yells as the words flash across the screen: call in the next five minutes and get two for the price of one! It sounds too good to be true. And it is. Smart consumers— and couch potatoes—know that the life-changing miracle gadget is usually nothing more than a plastic knickknack. Beware of “As Seen On TV” products! I personally nev er have known an individual who bought an item from a commercial or infomercial who felt satisfied. So what's the problem? First, the dynamic sales pitches make the TV watchers’ adrenaline rise; in their excitement they don't think straight enough to read the fine print. You know, the font size 5 words on the screen that read Shipping and Handling, $30. The $19.95 special deal just became a $49.95+ nightmare. Sure, we love new hair clips, but are they really worth fifty dollars? Definitely not, especially when they break in the first week. People usually end up with junk af ter the first few days—sometimes as soon as the product arrives. One year my dad bought my mom a nifty set of double frying pans, “great for eggs, pancakes, and such.'’ They never worked, and he had spent over fifty dollars. This kind of event leaves buy ers feeling cheated, embarrassed, and guilty as they think of all the money they willingly, but unknow ingly. poured down the drain. The truth is, a person can usually find the perfect problem-solving product by driving to the nearest grocery store, office supply store, hardware store, etc. And I can almost guarantee the price of an item at a store is cheaper than the price of a similar item on an infomercial. We must not let salespeople get into our heads and help us make rash decisions. It Is extremely tempting, though, when trained professionals add that extra sparkle to their voices and their eyes display honesty. One of the most effective advertisers was Billy Mayes, more affectionately dubbed i in Virginia as “the guy who shouts at you." Until he died this past year at the age of fifty, he was very popular in “As Seen On TV” commercials. Ever since I first saw his commercial for “Mighty Putty,” I must confess I have always wanted to try Mighty Putty! He was one of the best in his field. - But we must resist. Remem ber not to believe everything you see. As the old adage goes, “If it sounds too god to be true, then it is.” Remember that the next time the salesperson comes on with his inviting grin. I

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