Is shopping for groceries just another chore or errand? Make grocery shopping more enjoyable by visiting your local farmer’s market. The growth and popularity of farmers’ markets has created a place where you can buy food and interact with the community -- all while supporting your local food economy. If you’re not already shopping at your local farmer’s market, here are some reasons you should.
- Higher quality products: The produce at farmers’ markets are fresh and fully ripe, most likely picked that morning and brought directly to you. They are also minimally processed and chemical-free.
- Higher variety of products: You’ll find an amazing variety of products that you can’t find at your average supermarket such as rhubarb, nettles, concord grapes, mouse melons and heirloom tomatoes.
- More affordable products: You’ll be purchasing higher quality products at lower prices. Many farmers’ markets also accept SNAP and WIC customers so nutritious food is available for all.
- Support the local economy and family farms: Most of the produce is grown within 100 miles of the market so these farms are a source of local jobs. By shopping at farmers’ markets you’ll help your local farms stay in operation and provide jobs for your community.
- Better for the environment: You’ll be helping the environment by conserving fuel and natural resources associated with transporting and harvesting fruits and vegetables to supermarkets. Small family farms also produce less environmental waste.
- Better for the family: Make visiting the farmers’ market a weekly family activity. Many markets feature live music, play areas for kids and local food vendors, making it a perfect place to spend an afternoon.
- Better for the community: The farmer’s market is not just a place to shop but a place to meet and build relationships with your neighbors and get plugged into your community.
Bottom Line: Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be a dreaded errand. Visit your local farmers’ market to experience a fun, new way to shop while benefitting your family, the environment and local community. Find a farmers’ market near you at www.localharvest.org.
Written by: Christina Jung, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern