You’ve probably heard the phrase “buy local” before. And one of the best ways to buy local is to visit your local farmers market. But why is buying local important? What benefits does a farmers market provide over the nearest supermarket or big-box store? It turns out there’s a wealth of advantages – some you may not have even considered. Below are eight reasons to take a trip to your local farmers market:
1. You’re Supporting Local Businesses (And Local People)
From a purely economic perspective, supporting businesses local to you means that money stays in the area where it can continue to benefit other local businesses and people. That helps create healthier communities and higher quality goods and services for you. It also gives you a good feeling seeing the people you’re directly supporting, knowing that you’re helping them put food on the table for them and their families.
2. Better Prices For Better Food
Those economics work in more than just one direction though. Because farmers markets are held at limited, predetermined times, farmers waste less time and money to produce and sell their bounties, savings that are often passed to you, the customer. That’s not to say that head of cabbage is going to be cheaper than at the grocery store chain but consider this: because these food products are fresher and of higher quality, the little extra money you may pay at a farmers market is getting you way more value in return when you sit down to eat your meals.
(Also, if you don’t mind not getting the prime pickings, shopping late can net you some big discounts as farmers look to clear out their stock for the day.)
3. It’s Healthier Too
The food you buy at farmers markets is often less processed with fewer preservatives than the stuff you can get at the grocery. That means you’re getting more nutrients and fewer chemicals with every bite, and that’s never a bad thing. Thus, shopping at your local farmers market is equivalent to health grocery shopping.
4. Shorter Drives
This goes for everyone. Farmers have shorter distances to transport their food, and you get to save a trip into town. That saves you time to do other things like reading a book or watching a show. It also saves mileage on your car, leading to better trade-in value and, potentially, lower rates on your car insurance. Check with the friendly agents at Freeway Auto Insurance and get free quote on their website to see how much you can save on your car insurance.
5. More Sustainable
Those shorter drives means less burning fuel and a better atmosphere for our planet. Local farmers also tend to treat their livestock more humanely and farm in more sustainable ways. And farmers markets make a significantly smaller footprint on the local environment than a huge, unsightly mega building.
6. You’re Building A Community
Your local farmers market is much more than a place to buy food. It’s a place to come together, meet new people and socialize. Often times other events coincide with farmers markets, like musical performances or arts and crafts. A market is a cultural hub that can provide enriching family time or an opportunity to catch up with friends.
7. Discover New Things
When you go to a big store and see a weird vegetable you’re unfamiliar with, what do you do? Probably just look at it quizzically and move on. But at a farmers market, the person who planted and harvested that vegetable is right there, and is often eager to share their knowledge about what it tastes like, how it can be prepared and what benefits it can provide you. And this doesn’t just apply to food you’ve never seen before. Farmers can often teach you something new about foods you’ve been eating your entire life. That sharing of knowledge and experience helps us all do better in life.
8. You Get To Be Outside!
Here are your choices: Trudge through a synthetically-lit, overly-advertised maze crammed with people trying to squeeze through narrow aisles, or feeling the warmth of the sun as you breathe in fresh air and talk to friendly people who are happy to see you. Which would you pick?
So there you have it, eight reasons to skip the big box stores and visit your local farmers market instead. From the health of yourself to the health of your community, buying local means a better quality of living for everyone!