Daryl Hannah on Shopping Organic at Farmers' Markets

It's also possible to stumble onto exotic items -- like garlic tops, lobster mushrooms or an unusual multicolored bell pepper. These finds can vary by region, which is part of why Hannah enjoys strolling through the booths at farmers' markets across the country.

"Sometimes a farmer will find something on their own farm that's different or unique, and grow a lot of it," said Holly Givens of the Organic Trade Association. "That can be really fun to see. You do find things that you can't find anywhere else."

A fruit or vegetable that looks different than you're used to might also taste better than you're used to. Hannah conducted her own informal taste test at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City, pitting conventional strawberries grown in Canada and Mexico and sold in a local grocery store against organic strawberries from a farmers' market, picked the night before. Her subjects said they could taste the difference.

"I know [the conventional strawberries] look very beautiful," one taste-tester said. "But [the organic strawberries] are very unique. They just taste more real, and they're sweeter."

That fresher taste makes it easier to eat more fruits and vegetables, Hannah said.

"I'm a new convert to vegetables," she said. "I'm retraining my palate. I couldn't do it if I wasn't eating fresh and organic foods."

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