A decade ago, it wasn’t so easy to find a local farmer’s market. If you didn’t live in a big city, you were usually relegated to going to the grocery store for all your produce needs.
These days, farmer’s markets are springing up everywhere, from small, roadside stands to large groups of local farms. If you’re not used to shopping at them, they can seem a little overwhelming, but there are a lot of great reasons to get your produce from the “little guys” (instead of big corporate stores).
Here are a few of our top reasons to visit your nearest farmer’s market.
Many of the fruit and vegetables in your typical grocery store have already spent days, or even weeks, in transit. And while they may still seem fresh on the shelves, they can become overripe very quickly once they reach your kitchen. The produce at farmer’s markets is often picked only a few days prior, which means it will last much longer, and often taste much better.
Less Fossil Fuels
Much of the produce in grocery stores is not only shipped across the United States, but in some cases, shipped overseas before turning up on the shelves. Buying at your local farmer’s market means you’re personally making less of a fossil fuel footprint, and know exactly where your fruit and vegetables are coming from.
Non-GMO And Organic
Most farmers who participate in farmer’s markets do not produce GMOs, with many of them choosing to grow their crops organically. And in the cases when you’re not sure, there’s always someone directly connected to the farm who can explain to you what their specific pesticide practices are.
It’s much better for the environment when we eat seasonally; there’s less transportation needed, and less agricultural stress. When you buy food at a farmer’s market, you’re only able to eat what’s grown during that specific season, because those are the only choices available! What a farmer’s market lacks in variety, it certainly makes up for in taste. Eating a freshly picked apple in the fall, or a delicious ear of corn in late summer, is an amazing experience for your tastebuds.
Supports Local Economies
Supporting your local town or city economy is the best way to see improvement in parks, schools and other public spaces. When you shop at a farmer’s market, you’re giving money back to the community, instead of to a giant corporation.
Supports Family Farms
One of the hardest jobs out there is being an independent farmer, and with giant conglomerates making it harder and harder for them to make a profit on their own, buying their produce at farmer’s markets is becoming more important every day.
Contrary to popular opinion, eating healthy doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg, and farmer’s markets are proof of that. Because you’re only paying for the farm labor and transportation from the farm to the stand, you’ll most likely get organic fruits and vegetables at a bargain price.