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Robert Lewis Stevenson once described the Monterey Peninsula as “the greatest meeting of land and sea in the world.” This unique location between land and sea makes Monterey a great place to find fresh food.

Monterey is famous for its bounty of fresh produce. Nearly two-thirds of all artichokes are grown in Monterey County, making the area the “Artichoke Center of the World.” Many refer to Salinas Valley as the “Salad Bowl of the World,” because so much of the nation’s lettuce sprouts from the fertile soil of Monterey County.

Health experts agree that fresh food is better for your health than is canned, frozen or boxed food. Canning, freezing and other means of processing foods can remove some of the nutrition, and add loads of salt, sugars, and stabilizers. Processed foods also tend to be lower in fiber.

Fresh food, on the other hand, delivers all the nutrients, fiber, and beneficial fats your body needs for good health. Fresh produce contains phytochemicals, which are powerful nutrients in plant foods that provide health benefits to the humans that eat them. These phytochemicals, which can be destroyed during chemical processing of food, work together to protect you from disease.

The fresh fish from the waters near Monterey are also healthy. Certain fish, such as mackerel and salmon, contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation and may help lower your risk of some chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.

There are two main places to find fresh food in Monterey: farmers’ markets and dining venues that offer freshly cooked fresh food.

Farmers’ Markets in Monterey

The best way to have constant access to fresh food is to farm it yourself, of course, but producing enough food for each day of the year is time-consuming and exhausting. Farmers’ markets are the next best thing to growing it yourself. These local markets provide a convenient location for local farmers to sell fruits and vegetables. Other local vendors may offer meat, cheese, and bakery products at farmer’s markets.

The fruits and vegetables you buy at farmers’ markets are the freshest and tastiest products available. Ripened on the vine and picked at peak ripeness, locally grown in-season fruits and vegetables are fresher and taste better.

Farmers’ markets in Monterey offer the freshest possible iceberg lettuce, spinach, leaf lettuce and other varieties of the leafy greens.

Marina Certified Farmers’ Market

Marina Certified Farmers’ Market offers all the locally grown fresh and organic produce you might expect to find in Monterey. It also offers a number of fun events throughout the year, including live music, kid’s activities, and educational workshops.

Marina Certified Farmers’ Market is located at 215 Resevation Road in Marina and is open on Sundays from 10 am until 2 pm.

Monterey Farmers Market at Monterey Peninsula College (MPC)

Fifty farmers and vendors come together every Friday from 10 am until 2 pm at Monterey Peninsula College to hold a farmers’ market. Many of these farmers and vendors are certified organic producers or use sustainable farming practices.

This year-round market is located at Monterey Peninsula College, 930 Fremont Street, Monterey, CA. There they offer farm fresh eggs, herbs, pastured grass-fed meats and poultry, organic honey, mushrooms, and a seemingly endless selection of certified California grown fruits, vegetables, and nuts. You can even find artisan breads and baked goods, handcrafted cheeses, and organic juices at the Monterey Farmers’ Market. Do you love fresh fish? Some vendors at this market offer sustainable fish and oysters.

Sea Harvest Fish Market

Sea Harvest Fish Market offers a virtual ocean of fresh fish. This market is located at 598 Foam St., which is just a block and a half off the main strip in Monterey.

Freshly Cooked Fresh Foods

Not in the mood to cook? Several establishments offer freshly prepared fresh foods.

The Wharf Marketplace

The Wharf Marketplace is located in a building that, in 1874, was built to be the first train station in Monterey. Today, they serve a wide variety of fresh food for breakfast and lunch, along with the season’s best offerings for soup and salad bar.

Known as the “Bounty of the County,” The Wharf Marketplace is a proud member of the Tanimura & Antle Family of Business. You can visit The Wharf Marketplace at 290 Figueroa Street in Monterey.

Forest Hill

Fresh food may be closer than you think. Forest Hill is a full-service retirement community that offers a wide variety of fresh foods. You can choose from a number of premiere dining options or opt for the chef’s daily special. Forest Hill even offers freshly prepared soup and salad with a 12-hour, anytime service, from 7 am to 7 pm. Forest Hill is also conveniently located within walking distance to a number of Pacific Grove restaurants featuring local, fresh food.

Because of the endless fresh food available at farmers’ markets and dining experiences in the area, Monterey certainly earns its nicknames of “Artichoke Center of the World” to “Salad Bowl of the World.” It is indeed the “the greatest meeting of land and sea in the world” when it comes to fresh food. Contact us today to learn more about our retirement community.

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