When we decide to ditch grocery stores and shop at farmers’ markets, the environment, farmers, and our bodies thank us.
This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to shop at a farmers’ market. Bring as little as $5--$10 with you and purchase locally grown produce. You do not have to buy huge quantities; it can be as small as a basket of fresh strawberries, just as long as it is locally grown. This way you will not only be buying the freshest produce, but you will also be supporting farmers in your community.
This does not mean you have to completely get rid of shopping at grocery stores, but it is a great way to incorporate some fresh fruits and vegetables into your meals!
Here are a few reasons why we love farmers markets
They are better for the environment.
Less transportation and truck fuel will be put into the air when food is transported to large chain grocery stores. The food you buy at a local grocery store travels an average of 1,500 miles to reach you. The shipping itself consumes great quantities of fossil fuels, thereby contributing to pollution. Also, conventional agriculture pollutes water, land and air with toxic agricultural by-products, whereas sustainable agriculture uses methods that minimize the impact on our planet.
Most foods at farmers’ markets are organic and cost less than at other stores.
Big farming companies use harmful chemicals and pesticides that can damage the soil and the ecosystem, and the fuel from their shipping trucks and smog from their giant packing houses pollute the air. Small family farms, on the other hand, maintain healthy, nutrient-rich soil, and their food doesn’t have to travel far to your table.
We support local family farmers who provide us with delicious and nutritious food to fuel our bodies.
When we do business with people that are directly within our community, we benefit financially, too! Think about it, if we pay the people in our community, they spend more money within the community, too. Once this happens, we all get more business, and with the demand rising, prices of things also drop!
The fruit and vegetables are usually picked at their peak ripeness, where the most flavor and vitamins are in the foods.
It is important to know exactly what goes into your food and how it is processed. At farmers’ markets you can simply ask the farmer how the produce is grown, and he or she will tell you everything you need to know. In big grocery stores, produce can sit on a shelf for weeks before it is purchased. However, farmers at the local market can tell you the exact date the produce was picked, often no more than a day or two before.
To find out more, check out this article by CUESA about the top 10 reasons to support Farmers’ Markets. Let us know how your trip to the Farmers’ Market went by reporting your challenge!