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Reasons to Support Farmers Markets

Submitted by Kim Allison
Posted on 01 Aug, 2016

Reasons to Support Farmers Markets
Farmers markets are one of the few places where you can directly connect with the people who grew your food. Of the mountain of reasons to shop at Farmers Markets, these top our list.

Better For Your Health

Much food found in grocery stores is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. These practices may have negative effects on human health.

In contrast, most food found at the farmers market is minimally processed, and many of the farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties.

Also, when you buy local, the food has just the right components for allergy prevention in your neck of the woods!


Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes And Meal Ideas

Farmers, ranchers, and artisans are an amazing resource, and shopping directly from them gives you an incredible advantage. They are often passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling. They know exactly what kind of beer will pair perfectly with the gouda they smoked themselves. They know just how to make a pesto out of tufted carrot-top greens. Some even offer cooking demonstrations.


Fresher And Better Tasting Fruits And Veggies

The food from your local farmers market is, quite frankly, fresher. Because it was grown locally, there is a good chance that the apple you buy from the farmer was picked a few days ago. This is virtually impossible in a big supermarket.

The fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmers market are also tastier. Fruits are allowed to ripen fully on the tree and are brought directly to you—no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage. This food is as real as it gets—fresh from the farm.


Eat Seasonally

Food at the farmers market comes and goes with the season. It is also better for your overall health because the food you buy at the farmers market is seasonal, fresh, and ripe. Compare this to food that you buy at supermarkets, that is picked before it has ripened, decreasing its vitality.

By eating with the season you reconnect with the cycle of nature in your region. It can help bring back our awareness of the earth, the weather and the turning of the seasons as you anticipate asparagus in the spring, savor ripe tomatoes in summer and bake with winter squash in the fall.


Supporting Your Local Economy And Farmers

With large agribusiness dominating food production in the United States, small family farmers have a hard time earning a living in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and helps them succeed in today's globalized economy. You play an important role in ensuring that local farmers can continue farming for the community.

Also, when you buy local, not only will your money be staying in your area, but you will remember the farmer’s smile as they handed you that juicy peach.


More Variety

There is usually an amazing variety of fruits and veggies at your local farmers market. Each farmer may have his own method for growing tomatoes or peppers.

At the farmers market you find an amazing array of produce that you don’t see in your average supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, stinging nettles, green garlic, watermelon radishes, quail eggs, maitake mushrooms, and much, much more. It is a wonderful opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.


Protect The Environment

Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land, and air with toxic agricultural by-products. Food at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.


Promote Humane Treatment of Animals

At the farmers market, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets, and who have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of feedlots and cages that are typical of animal agriculture.


Know Where Your Food Comes From

Shopping at the farmers market is by far the best way to connect with where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to food artisans and farmers is a rare opportunity to learn more about how and where the food is produced.


Connect With Your Community

The farmers market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children, or just get a taste of small-town life in the midst of our wonderful big city. It is great fun for the whole family, and an excellent way to feel connected to the world around you, increasing health for body, mind and spirit.


Cheaper Organic Fruits And Veggies

You can find a variety of fresh, organic produce at more affordable prices than in a supermarket. There are also many farmers that carry products that are not technically “organic,” (as this is a costly and often beurocratic-heavy process), but have many low-priced foods that are pesticide and herbicide free.

The advantage at a farmers market is that you can actually talk to the farmer, learn about their methods, and then decide for yourself and in most cases they will allow you to come and visit their farm.

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