Imagine yourself walking down the street and all around you are fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, baked goods and more, all made by local farmers. There’s nothing like a fresh tomato with just the right amount of sweetness and acidity, or a strawberry that may not be gargantuan in size but its taste sure is massive. So do yourself a favor and find a local farmers’ market in your town. It could be minutes away from your home and you don’t even know it. If I still haven’t convinced you, check out the benefits of shopping at a farmers’ market as opposed to a chain grocery store.
1. Learn what real fruits and vegetables are supposed to taste like
It should be no surprise that fruits and vegetables in a grocery store are picked before they’re ripe, then frozen and shipped halfway across the world to end up in your town. On the other hand, food at farmers’ markets is in season so it’s pretty much guaranteed to be truly fresh and delicious. Doing so also reconnects you with the natural cycle of Earth in your area. What’s a better way of getting to know the land than by knowing what grows in what environments? Associating sweet corn with summer or pumpkins with autumn will create nostalgic memories and activities that give you yet another motivation for eating well and sustainably.
2. Get healthier
We all know the dangers of processed foods (at least I hope so), not to mention pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, etc. Produce in grocery stores is grown more for appearance and size than quality, especially in the USA. Fruit will be waxed to make it look shinier, veggies get gassed via transit and every single one of these practices can be very harmful for our health. But here comes farmers’ markets’ food to the rescue! These farmers, grow and devote their lives to this career because they care about the food you and your family are putting in your bodies. They want healthy, good, minimally processed food to be available for everyone. And they do it by still keeping in mind the planet’s current fragile state.
3. Help the environment
When your food gets flown halfway across the world, even driven from a few states away, that’s using up a lot of energy and a lot of greenhouse gases are emitted and trash is produced. In the US, your food will travel about 1,500 miles before it reaches your plate. That’s insane. Water, land, air, everything gets polluted whereas smaller farms transport their food very short distances and grow their food using methods that are targeted towards doing as little damage on the planet as possible.
Related: Why I Choose to Be Vegan
They work very hard! Large corporations, especially in the meat and dairy industries, get a lot of subsidies from the government, whereas local farmers who are tolling the day away do not. They rely on awesome people like us to appreciate the hard work they put in to buy directly from them. They might sell to stores or other larger businesses but they always make the most return by selling their products directly. So get off your couch and go take a stroll around the local farmers’ market. Try new things and meet new people. You’ll love it so much! I wouldn’t be surprised if you make it a weekly trip.