When was the last time you ventured out on a beautiful morning to explore the delights of your local farmers markets in Melbourne and Sydney? Many of us have become so dependent on supermarkets that we forget about the alternatives with greater benefits that exist right on our doorstep! There are many good reasons to favour the farmers market when it comes to buying produce.
Reason 1: Staying Local and Seasonal
One of the best ways to make your shopping both budget-friendly and eco-friendly is to keep your produce both local and seasonal. The farmers market is a great place to do just that. In the supermarket, it can be a hassle to achieve the same thing when you have to study all the labels to see where everything comes from. Furthermore, most people are simply unaware of what’s local and/or seasonal because they’re just so used to getting what they need at any time in the supermarket.
Therefore, the farmers market is an ideal solution for everyone in this respect. Everything you see there is seasonal and local, after all! It takes the doubt out of the equation. The biggest impact isn’t on getting better prices by sticking with what’s seasonal, but actually with the fact that shopping in your local area massively cuts the carbon footprint that your food is making since there’s much less transport involved to get the produce to that market.
Reason 2: Unbeatable Freshness and Nutrition
When your produce has to travel far, it’s not just the environment that’s hurting, but also its value to you as a nutritional product. Fruits and vegetables start to lose their freshness immediately after being harvested and processed. Have you noticed that a lot of fruit you’re buying isn’t even ripe yet? That’s because it has been brought to market early because otherwise it might not survive.
When you buy from the local farmers market, everything is as fresh as it comes, and has been harvested at the right time since the farmers know they don’t have to worry about it travelling far before being sold.
Reason 3: You Can Support Local Farmers
Farming is a giant, global corporate game these days. An increasing proportion of what we see on our shelves is coming from a dwindling number of individual suppliers. Local farmers offer you something much fresher and of an order of quality magnitudes higher than any corporate operation. Supporting them means money stays in your local area instead of being whisked off to a distant business HQ in some city or country far away.
When you support local farmers, you also empower yourself to know more about where your food is coming from. If you have questions about any aspect of your produce you can ask your farmers directly, perhaps even visit the farm and learn more. It means you can confirm 100 percent that working practices on the farm are ethical, and that organic produce really is organic. No distant corporate entity can offer that to you.
Reason 4: Get Aware of Local Issues
Farmers markets don’t just promote commerce in the local area, but also communication between farmers and other residents nearby. Some people have little to no idea of the pressures that farmers face in their daily lives. A farmers market is a good gathering place where people can exchange stories, ideas and viewpoints. Being more aware of the plight of farmers makes people more determined to be part of a solution.
Explore farmers markets in your area and see just how much is really going on.