If you’ve ever meandered the produce department at your local grocery store with a furrowed brow, you’re not alone. While it could be simply that there are certain items that are not in season, chances are this produce is not all that fresh either. There’s nothing better than produce that you know is farm-to-table, as you not only taste the difference but you can also see it while handling the corn, peppers, etc. This is why you should be shopping at farmers markets. The Long Brothers of innovative San Diego beach accessory company slippa.net make sure to do it regularly for fresh food, to support local farms, and more. It’s not surprising that they donate one percent of their net sales to the environment. Read on for more reasons you, too, should shop at farmers markets. Don’t know where one is near you? Of course, there’s an app for that!
- You’re Protecting Mother Earth
Shipping uses large amounts of fossil fuels, creates trash with extra packaging, and contributes to pollution. As this CUESA.org article notes, “Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate.” If you’re like us, you likely don’t want to think about all the handling that goes on in between that either. Thankfully, food from farmers markets has traveled shorter distances and has typically been grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.
- It’s Fun!
Many farmers markets make it a whole event, not only featuring food vendors but also other local flower, candle, jewelry, and other vendors so you can make a day of shopping out of it—all while supporting the community in which you live. There’s often music, sometimes pony rides, and other ways to connect with other like-minded folks in your area. Make it a family tradition by going every week. What could be better?
- You’ll Be Eating Seasonally
Not everything tastes great all year long. You know this if you’ve ever had an out-of-season watermelon—yuck! Conversely, nothing tastes better than tomatoes and corn during the summer. The great thing about shopping at farmers markets is you know you’re eating what’s in season so it’s nearly guaranteed to taste fantastic and fresh. You want to shop locally as much as possible and avoid large-scale farms. Large-scale farming is very unlikely to practice organic and sustainable principles, so they are doing more harm than good to the environment. Besides, nothing tastes better than food that’s in season!
- You’re Promoting Humane Treatment of Animals
Meats, cheeses, and eggs from farmers markets come from animals who have not only been raised without hormones or antibiotics, but they’ve also been free to roam as they graze on green grass. They’re thankfully spared the cramped conditions we’ve all seen in the exposés on mainstream animal agriculture. Some people even find that hunting and killing your own food is more humane than eating meat that has come from these abhorrent places.
- You’ll Enjoy Variety
Ever wondered why some of your favorite fruits and veggies aren’t even offered at your local grocery store? According to this nutrisavings.com article, it’s because most of the mainstream stores will only provide produce that can survive shipping and handling. In a farmers market, you can find gems like heirloom varieties, “which means their seeds have been handed down for generations in a specific region, and haven’t been tampered with.” Talk about food you can feel good about eating!
- You’re Supporting the Little Guys
As the produce at farmers markets is grown locally, you’re supporting local farmers and ensuring these farmers can continue their local growing operations. And what’s great is these farmers cut out the middlemen by selling directly to you, making buying from them more affordable—a true win/win situation if there ever were one.
Shopping at a farmers market isn’t just a day of exchanging money for goods—it’s an experience. It’s also a time to get back to nature, connect with other people in your community, and give back to Mother Earth. What are you waiting for? Find one near you!