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Buy Local: Five Good Reasons to Shop at Farmer's Markets

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Buy Local: Five Good Reasons to Shop at Farmer's Markets
Photo H.B. Walker

Shopping at a farmer’s market, anywhere in the world, is not only good for the local economy and environment but for your own body… and mood!

Authentic flavours: The produce you’ll find at farmer’s markets is going to be the freshest and tastiest available. Sourced and sold by local growers, they travel short distances and are allowed to ripen naturally. As opposed to conventional fruits and vegetables found in supermarkets that are often gassed to speed the ripening process.

Celebrate the season: Whatever you find at a true farmer’s market is seasonal and fresh. Shopping and cooking from a farmer’s market helps you connect with nature’s own cycles. Asparagus in spring, summer berries, winter squash.

Support a “family” industry: Family farms are becoming increasingly rare worldwide, struggling to keep up with mass-distribution and agricultural giants. Buying directly from them gives them a better chance to keep their place in today’s globalised economy.

Good for the environment: In the U.S., food travels an average of 1,500 miles to arrive at your plate. All of this shipping requires enormous amounts of fossil fuels, increases pollution and requires an excess of packaging that is then thrown away. Feeding yourself from local vendors is good for the planet.

“Real” social networking: Wouldn’t you rather wander through market stalls in the fresh air rather than pushing a cart around a crowded supermarket or even clicking on groceries online from the office? A farmer’s market makes shopping an event rather than a chore. Make a date with a friend or two and make the rounds together. It gives even a big, bustling city a small-town feel for a few hours. And if you become a “regular”, you’ll mostly run into the same shoppers and vendors who will begin to greet you as if you’d known each other for years.

Excerpts taken from the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture.

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