If you were to ask me a year ago what I thought of farmers markets, I would have simply replied "they're cute!"
This thought saddens me because they are such an important part of sustaining our environment and the building of a community. The fact that I wasn't worried about where my food was coming from, what its environmental impact was, and what exactly is sprayed on or in my food is scary to me. Why have we been not taught to ask questions on our social, agricultural, or economic standards?
In our world, we go to a grocery store and we are automatically closed off from the facts. Were these animals completely tortured their entire lives so we can get a discount on steak and chicken? Do most of the products in this grocery store come from third world countries where they exploit workers? How many options do we have on cereals, chips, and other foods that have fake ingredients, but claim to be sugar free with no written indication that it causes cancer and other diseases? Welp, as long as there is nice lighting and irrelevant music, we can dismiss these things and purchase which packaging looks aesthetically nice.
Enough with the grocery store talk though, I wrote this post to give my reasons why the farmers market is so damn important and fun, and can be such an integral part of every day happiness.
5 REASONS WHY FARMERS MARKETS KICK ASS
1. Supporting the local farm! You walk through and see all of these amazing colors and bountiful produce and then directly in the same vicinity, you meet the men or women behind it all. Nowadays I find it strange and just no fun to have my money and my belly go to large corporations based in other states and countries who don't practice environmental or social justice. By supporting local farmers you can put a face to the grower, know that there are fewer hands behind the establishment, know they are getting a better return for their goods, and the food is way more delicious.
2. Better for the Environment! Without even realizing it, your food travels thousands of miles just to get to your plate. With travel, you're creating way more pollution. Factory corporate farms are also taking over our world and our grocery stores. The scary part is that these businesses are one of the most unsustainable practices of our time, poisoning our earth and their consumers. They are responsible for the destruction and abuse of the land, the animals and of resources. The best way to get your food is local and sustainable. Better for you, better for local farmers, better for the planet.
3. The food is way tastier! Buying for the season is one of my favorite reasons to buy local. Only bringing out the freshest of the seasons bounty, you know exactly what your climate can produce at the time. The flavors and the produce are at its truest peak and were just pulled from the trees and fields the day before. The farmers always love to tell me that their fruit was only picked only 12 hours ago. They urge me to try every type of berry and even urge me to go visit their farm which is only a 2 hour drive to meet everyone. This reason alone can be reason enough for me.
4. Better for you! In most of our grocery stores, they source from factory farms and corporate farms which means a high demand for cheap and convenient foods. This also means these agribusinesses use growth hormones, synthetic fertilizers, poisonous pesticides, and highly processed goods. This denatures all of the nutrients and beauty the food even has to offer. With local farmers, their entire paradigm is producing a item with the best integrity. Their intention is to grow the most wonderful produce possible, to practice sustainability and choose techniques fit for the environment. So not only are you getting natures full nutrients with the goods you buy, but you know that the practice itself is fit for earth.
5. Making friends! When I say making friends, it sounds bit weird. But I really mean forming a community. It is the best feeling to grocery shop outside and stroll through a farmers market feeling the calm, positive and excited energy of the consumers and growers. It makes it something to look forward to instead of something you have to cross of the to-do list. Bring a friend, make a friend, get educated on your food, and enjoy the scene!
Also to make your farmers market adventure completely zero waste make sure to bring your glass tupperware for meats and cheeses and other berries that might have a stain effect and your cloth produce bags for all your other fruits and veggies!
After you shop for your heart and your tummy, bring it to your home and feel even happier.