Starting in June, farmers’ markets are everywhere, and they have some of the best produce and locally produced goods around. Below are just a few of the reasons why farmers’ markets are a great place to shop.
Support local farmers
When you buy produce directly from the farmers, and other goods directly from the producer, the money goes right to them, there are no middlemen. This allows farmers to thrive in their communities.
Know the person who produces your food
If you are buying directly from the producer, you can get to know them, and have a better understanding of how your food is produced. Some farmers have farm markets and open houses which are a great way to see where your food is produced, and will also give you a better understanding of agriculture and nature.
Produce sold at farmers’ markets is as fresh as it gets! It usually comes from the farm straight to the market, then straight to your home! Not only does fresh produce taste better, but it is better for you. After the fruit or vegetable is picked, the carbohydrates, proteins and fats start to break down (a process called respiration). So, the longer the time between being picked and eaten, the fewer nutrients there are in the food.
Reduce Food Miles
On average, food travels 1200 km from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your food, and will ensure that your food is fresher (http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/food-and-our-planet/food-and-climate-change/).
In the grocery store, food is highly packaged – paper, plastic, cardboard, Styrofoam – and most of it is so unnecessary. At farmers’ markets, the packaging is minimal, and if you bring your own reusable bags, there is no packaging at all. This keeps costs down for the farmers and for you, while also minimizing waste.
Reduce Food Waste
In the grocery store, an unnecessary amount of food goes to waste because it is not the right size, shape or colour, even though it is perfectly good food! At farmers’ markets, as long as the food is of good quality, it will be sold, regardless of appearance.