Who would like fresh-off-the-farm spring veggies, free-range eggs, a beautiful bouquet of flowers, or homemade bread and jam? Let’s go to the Farmer’s Market!
Buying locally grown food is a great way to be green and get healthy, and is just a few of the reasons I shop at the FM. Through an organized FM, many communities where fresh, nutritious foods are scarce gain easy access to food. FM also promotes nutrition education, wholesome eating habits, and better food preparation, as well as boosting the community’s economy. Also, there is a whole environmental side to the FM. Eating locally grown food guarantees that local land stays in agricultural production. This, in turn, reduces the impact of transportation, use of harmful pesticides, and unfair labor practices. Steven L. Hopp proposes that “if every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week.”
The food found at FM is healthier! I cannot stress this enough. Usually, the farms are small and the farmers have taken care of what they grow and raise. In turn, food is more flavorful and there is minimal chance of illness caused my agricultural abuse. Smaller farms normally choose to use sustainable practices that are healthy for the environment and healthy for humans. Which means, they do not use harmful pesticides, which are linked to numerous health and environmental issues. If you are unsure if a particular farmer uses sustainable practices or are organic, just ask them! If you feel unconformable asking the seller directly, inquire with the organizers at the FM. Look back at all of the massive food borne illnesses and you find that “food” from large factory farms are mostly to blame.
There has been a misconception that people who shop at the FM must be able to purchase spendy food. The truth is that good food that’s worth eating is more expensive no matter where you purchase it. Quality produce, organics, food that hasn’t been bred more to travel than to taste good — are going to cost you more. However, I have been going to the FM for quite sometime and I usually only spend $35-40 for the entire week for two grown adults. I normally buy lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, 1-2 artisan goods, eggs and a bunch of flowers. I, also, stop by Whole Foods each week to buy milk, OJ, meat, seafood, and anything else I just could not get at the FM. Many markets have been established to provide consumers with fresh produce at lower prices than local supermarkets. In other cases the goal has been to provide fresher, superior product at competitive prices. Either way, the customer finds better value, which is defined by the relationship between product and price.
As I have said before, the FM makes me swoon. I feel like I am in a time and place where life is always simple and romantic. Somewhere like France or Italy, where I can load up my basket with a fresh loaf of crusty bread, raw honey, cheese, and wine to enjoy at nearby park with my lover .
While traveling, visiting the local FM or bazaar is a great way to experience local culture. There is nothing like stall after stall of fresh, beautiful and seasonable produce intermingled with stalls selling dried fruits and nut, cured meats and roasted chestnuts.
In conclusion, when you spend a dollar at a FM, not only have you have bought fresh local food, but you have also had an enjoyable experience, voted for your local economy, and saved farmland. The FM is a great date place too!
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