Guest post By: Victoria Ward
Summer has arrived! That means farmer’s markets are opening in cities small and large all over the country. Here are 6 reasons why you should ditch the grocery store and visit your local farmer’s market instead.
Fairer Treatment of Animals
Most meat comes from “factory farms” where animals are typically raised in truly appalling conditions. Farmer’s markets are a great way to purchase and support humanely raised meat. Not only can you schedule a tour of the farm since they’re all local, but by cutting out the middleman, farmer’s markets give you direct access to your food producers. Leaving them open to public questioning, customers can ask the supplier themselves about any animal welfare certifications they may have which applies pressure to uphold higher standards.
Helping the Community
When you shop at your local supermarket you support your local people. Farmer’s markets consist of only local farmers who usually have to be in a certain geographical radius for them to qualify to participate. Charities and fundraisers are another great way to help your community out. These philanthropic enterprises are commonly found working together with vendors to support local causes that could affect you and your community in a profound way.
Better for The Environment
By supporting local farms, you keep them in business, preventing nearby land from being sold to developers who may want to build. Furthermore, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 30% of greenhouse gas came from transportation in 2017. A large portion of which comes from the transportation of industriously produced foods via freight bards, trucks and trains. Choosing to buy locally is an easy way to minimize the effects your food production has on the environment.
Tastier and Healthier Goods
With the increase of travel time, big food industries are forced to package their produce at an earlier stage. Unlike local farmers who can pick, package, transport and sell all on the same day – ensuring that you get a both fresh and ripe product. They’re not just tastier though, they’re healthier too. The University of California found that most vegetables lose about 15 to 55 percent of their vitamin C, among other critical nutrients, within a week. Some vegetables such as spinach can lose 90% within 24 hours of being harvested.
Fresh meat and produce aren’t the only thing sold. Farmer’s markets are a gold mine for homemade goodies too. Natural beauty products, flowers, baked goods, home canned items, gourmet dog treats, candles and more can also be found at your local market. With verifiable ingredients that are not altered for long travel or shelf times like most traditional products, you’re able to get more natural and unique products. On the flip side, if you’re a craft artisan yourself, a farmer’s market can be a great place to share your hard work.
Social Life Booster
It’s also a great way to socialize. Visiting a farmer’s market can be a great family tradition where children can learn more about the food they eat and where it comes from. It’s also an easy way to meet other members of the community. Best life named it the third most irresistible date idea for good reason. Markets provide a safe public place for strangers to meet and provides a long list of things to discuss if nervous. If the date goes well, it’s easy to bring up a second cooking date with your new food and if it goes bad the need to bring fresh produce home is a good excuse to call it a day.
What’s better than enjoying the fresh outdoors while you shop? See how you and your family can benefit by visiting your local farmer’s market this season.
By Victoria Ward for www.sustainabilityactive.com