Why Shop Local? The Benefits of Farmer’s Markets
Farmer’s markets are becoming more and more popular, and with good reason! There are many benefits to shopping at your local farmer’s market instead of the chain grocery store you usually go to. Here’s a list of a few of the many perks that come from shopping locally.
When shopping at a local farmer’s market you can pretty much guarantee that you are getting the freshest crops available. Most likely they were picked that morning or the previous day. They’ll also be the freshest because what you find will be what’s in season. Because the crops being sold are coming straight from the source and aren’t going through a production/packaging line, you can be assured that whatever you’re picking up at the farmer’s market is fresher and of higher quality than what you would find on the shelves in a chain grocery store. It’s also usually going to be cheaper than organic produce found in stores.
Shopping local means you know where your food is coming from. You can be assured it hasn’t been processed or sprayed with extra pesticides or special coatings food packagers sometimes use to keep produce fresh on trucks or even planes. Plus, talking with the local farmers can give you more information about the foods that you’re purchasing such as where they came from, how they were produced, etc.
Save the Environment
By shopping local, you are eliminating the industrial aspect of the process that goes into crops sent to chain grocery stores. This cuts down on resources and fossil fuels that are being used and helps reduce carbon footprint. This is due mostly to the fact that local produce has fewer miles to travel than fruits and vegetables produced elsewhere, so less waste is produced in transportation. It also helps the environment because local farms tend to use fewer pesticides and chemicals that can harm the environment.
Supports Local Farmers
Farmer’s markets are a great way to support local farmers in your area. It can be hard for small, local farms to compete in the large-scale agriculture industry so shopping local shows you care about and want to support their business. Shopping at farmer’s markets can also support the local economy by funneling money back into the community and aid that community’s job market by helping family farms stay in business, thereby providing more jobs for local people.
It’s just plain fun
Going to a farmer’s market is the perfect weekend activity to do with friends or family, especially when the weather is nice. It’s a fun, usually outdoor activity to roam around, meet all the local farmers, and see what they have to offer. Engaging in conversation with new people and seeing how excited the farmers are about the crops they have worked hard to produce and share with you is a perfect way to brighten your day.
Farmers spend lots of time and money on the processes of farming, harvesting, and getting crop insurance to make sure they deliver the freshest, highest quality crops to your table. So do them a favor and give back, shop locally. I promise you won’t regret it!