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Farmers' Market: Delicious memory boost
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It’s safe to say that virtually anyone nowadays wouldn’t mind gaining an edge in sharpening memory skills. Besides the obvious usefulness of a keen memory in remembering where you placed the car keys or trying to recall your day's busy agenda, years worth of knowledge and experiences captured in your own personalized storybook is always comforting to draw back on.

Most of us are quite familiar with the traditional methods of honing memory skills. I've had my own share of times trying the tricks and tools of the trade, ranging from catchy mnemonic devices to visualization techniques, and I still tune into "Jeopardy" every evening to put my skills to the test. Nevertheless, I've long been on the lookout for a more enduring alternative.

It's no surprise, then, that it caught my attention when a study about memory conducted by a group of UCLA researchers was released last week. Using surveys conducted by the Gallup organization regarding various lifestyle behaviors and subsequent self-perceived ability to recall information, the researchers calculated that a healthy diet alone could result in 21 percent less likelihood of experiencing memory problems down the road.

Granted, it may feel intuitive that eating right is important, particularly given the cornucopia of healthy food-related aphorisms that permeate our vocabulary — an apple a day keeps the doctor away, you are what you eat, just to name a few. But I think it's fair to say that such a study is enough to truly hammer home the need for an effort to make the best of healthier food options, and it's certainly been enough for me to seek out the perfect place to do so.

In other words, I payed myself a long-due visit to our very own Turlock Certified Farmers' Market.

Even though I had only occasionally visited the market in previous years, on none of those earlier visits had I ever taken the time to view from such a fresh perspective all that the market truly has to offer. But I can confirm it with conviction now — the Farmers’ Market is surely one of our town’s most sparkling gems. After all, fruits glistening in the sun, vegetables fresh off the vine, and assorted nuts strewn about in an irresistible fashion give for a choice selection that is hard to parallel anywhere else.

I think the sampling and selecting constitutes quite an experience in and of itself. With the myriad of choices and an overall atmosphere of enjoyment, you're bound to discover some type of healthy produce that tantalizes your taste buds and prompts you to revitalize your dietary regime. From sun-kissed peaches to ripe, juicy strawberries, the abundance of sweet, succulent options are teeming with nutritiousness, rich in antioxidants, and bursting with flavor.

The Farmers’ Market is also an excellent place for interacting with other Turlockers, meeting the folks who make it all happen by growing the produce right here. It gives for a pleasant reminder of the freshness that’s captured in the homegrown produce we get to enjoy, and it evokes a comforting feeling knowing that the vigor and vibrancy of such local family farms are weaved into the very fabric of Turlock and are what truly makes our town unique.

Suffice to say, I know the Turlock Farmers’ Market is a place where I’ll be creating some lasting memories that I'll surely want to be able to remember later on.

The market is set up in downtown Turlock on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. now through October, and I encourage more folks to join me in the weekly trip over there. After all, supporting local growers and enjoying some fresh produce while bolstering your brain's memory capabilities? Sounds like a bargain to me.

  — Henna Hundal is a high school student and resident of Turlock. She writes a monthly column on matters related to youth and our society