It used to be that you could only find farmers markets in select towns and locations, typically higher-income areas, as local foods and organic produce tend to cost more. In the past decade, however, the number of farmers markets has grown across the U.S.
Demand for fresh, local foods has increased and consumers across all income brackets now have access to sustainably grown, organic food. Gone are the days where you had to spend your whole paycheck on farm-fresh groceries. Now, it’s affordable and easy to purchase your ingredients from a local farmer.
Shopping Local Foods from the Farmers Market
Ease and affordability are just a couple of the reasons we love buying local foods from the farmers market. Shopping locally grown foods doesn’t just offer convenience and great pricing. Here are 5 reasons why we think you should be shopping local foods from the farmers market:
Always Fresh and Ripe
Because food at the farmers market comes from local farms, you’re always guaranteed fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods are allowed to fully ripen in the fields before they’re transported to the market. They also don’t have to undergo long-distance shipping or hang out in storage facilities before they arrive at the market.
When you shop at the farmers market, you are more likely to pick up organic fruits and vegetables, not just because they’re more affordable than the organic produce at the supermarket, but because they tend to be the star products at the farmers market. At the supermarket, it’s much easier to be distracted by processed foods and spend less time in the produce section, which typically makes up only one-fourth of the store. At farmers markets, however, the organic fruits and vegetables are the main attraction and offer an attractive variety that will consume your attention.
Offers the Best Taste
Because local foods tend to be organic and fresh, their taste is superior to their supermarket counterparts. Shopping at the farmers market also ensures that you are only eating foods that are in season, so they are at the height of their flavor. This means you won’t find strawberries in January, but you will find the very best oranges you’ve ever tasted instead.
Supports Family Farmers
Farmers that run small operations or family-owned businesses often rely on local support for their business to survive. These farmers tend to have a tough time competing in supermarkets and need your support to maintain their livelihood. Farmers markets offer these farmers the ability to directly reach consumers without trying to compete with big brand names.
If you’ve visited your local farmers market on more than one occasion, then you may have noticed some familiar faces. Because farmers markets tend to occur on one or two specific days each week, it’s very likely that you’ll run into a fellow community member or neighbor during your visit. These occurrences increase the likelihood of you socializing with your community residents and strengthening your community’s bond with each other.
Why buy local food?
Buying local foods means buying organic produce with higher quality and affordable pricing, in addition to supporting family farmers and strengthening your community.
What are local foods?
Local foods are foods that are grown close to where you live. They typically tend to be fresh, organic, and/or sustainably grown.
Why is local food better?
Local foods don’t need to be shipped long distance or held at storage facilities since they’re just a short distance away from the farmers market. They also tend to be organic and are fully ripened in the fields before they’re brought to the market, unlike some supermarket produce that’s gassed to ripen more quickly.