If you want to eat fresh produce and enjoy their peak nutrition, then you should definitely be shopping at a farmers market. Full of local vendors, a farmer’s market is a great opportunity to buy fresh fruits and vegetables to support your healthy lifestyle. But shopping local isn’t just for the nutritional benefits — it’s a chance to fix our broken food system. Supporting local farmers and small businesses is good for the environment and the economy.
Ready to learn more? Here are 7 reasons why you should shop local at your neighborhood farmers market:
1. Farm Fresh
When you shop at the grocery store, you have no idea how long that produce has been sitting there. Supermarket produce is often picked before it’s ready to keep up with demand and delivery schedules. The produce you get from the store may be weeks old, coming from all over the country or a different country altogether. With farmer’s markets, the fruits and vegetables are grown locally. You could be enjoying a crisp apple that was picked from the tree that morning! That’s the kind of fresh we love — full of flavor and at peak nutrition.
2. Support Local
Local farmers are providing for you as much as they are providing for their own families. Their harvested crop provides you with fresh produce full of flavor and essential nutrients. And in return, when you buy from a local farmer, you help them provide for their family financially. This mutual support helps build a thriving community where everyone wins.
Sustainability is a hot topic right now, but what does it have to do with farmers? Well, produce from your grocery store gets shipped from all over the place. This shipping uses large amounts of natural resources and also pollutes the environment. Not to mention the extra waste created from all the packaging involved. Food at the farmer’s market is transported much shorter distances and usually has little to no packaging involved. Getting produce from your local farmer minimizes waste and pollution, making it a much better option for the planet.
4. Cost Effective
There’s a common misconception that eating healthy is more expensive, but this doesn’t have to be the case! When you shop at your local farmer’s market, look for the daily deals and buy produce that’s in season. Farmers can sell more when fruits and vegetables are at their peak, which means they won’t inflate the prices. And with little to no overhead costs, farmers don’t have to charge as much as grocery stores do to make a profit.
5. Expert Advice
The experience you get at a farmer’s market is truly one of a kind. The person who grew your food is standing right in front of you! This face to face interaction is a great opportunity to get some expert advice. Farmers are passionate about the food they harvest, so they know how to grow, store, and prepare it. Looking for some hot tips on how to slice and dice the produce in your basket? Just ask! Your local farmers are happy to talk to you and share their knowledge.
6. More Variety
There’s likely to be more variety at the farmer’s market than at the grocery store, especially if something is in season. And when you frequent the farmer’s market, we guarantee you’ll discover something new. Local farmers can introduce you to vegetables you’ve never tried before, or a fruit variety that’s even sweeter than the type at the grocery store. Variety is the spice of life, so now’s your chance to spice things up!
7. Build Community
Farmers aren’t the only ones working at the market every Saturday morning. Bakers, artisans, local florists, and other vendors will likely be there. A farmer’s market is a community of local small businesses offering up what they make, bake, or grow. If you want to get to know your neighborhood better, and support your community, check out your local market. Chances are you’ll discover new goods and services available in your community for you to enjoy.
As an added bonus, farmer’s markets are typically outside, which allows you to enjoy the sun and soak up some Vitamin D! With all these benefits, why wouldn’t you shop at your local farmer’s market?
With the economy opening up, check with your local market to see if they are open and fully operating. Also, see if they’re offering curbside pickup and have put social distancing measures in place. Some markets are offering online orders to help you keep your distance. Happy shopping!