The Importance of Supporting your Local Farmer
Hi friends! I wanted to share a few reasons as to why you should add your local market to your grocery shopping routine:
The food is fresher
When you go into the grocery store and look at where most of the produce is from, it's places like Mexico, California, Florida. It took a long time for that produce to reach your grocery store shelves! Most fruits and veggies at the store are already 2 weeks old by the time you purchase them. When you buy from local farmers, you know the food is fresh. Most likely picked within the last day or two or maybe even just that morning. When it's fresher, it tastes better!
The food is better for you
Not only does the food taste better when it's fresher, but it's also better for you. Studies show that while the produce is sitting in a truck or on the shelves at the grocery store for a long time it loses some of it's nutrients. Not only that but a lot of the produce at the grocery store is picked before it is even ripe and then artificially ripened, causing the food to have less nutrients and also causing it to be dangerous to our health. Your local farmers are most likely growing what's in season, it's picked when it's ripe and has the full nutrients. It's always healthier to eat seasonally and fresh vs imported strawberries from the depths of Mexico in the middle of winter, for example.
It’s better for the environment
Smaller farms use less fossil fuels to produce their crops, meat, etc. Since the farmers are selling their goods locally, they don't have to be shipped far away, packaged with a ton of plastic, etc.
You’re supporting local and small businesses
When you shop from your local farmers, you are supporting the farmer and their families directly. It's the same as shopping from a small business. I read a quote once that said, "when you buy from a small business, an actual person does a happy dance." Think of it like that! You know where your money is going and you can feel good about it. The fact that these farmers are local is also important because your money will be going back into your local economy and will provide jobs for people in your community.
You know exactly what you're getting
A local farmer will be able to tell you details about the crops that you would not be able to find out from shopping at the grocery store. How it was grown, when it was picked, what kind of pesticides were used, etc. When it comes to food everyone has different aspects that are important to them. Whether it's eating organic, or making sure your dairy and meat are sustainably raised in a cruelty free environment, etc. By going to the market you can find a farmer who produces their food in a way that matches up with your needs which will result in feeling good about your purchases from them. Small farmers will be happy to tell you how they grow their food and the details of their crops!
Erica Strauss in her book The Hands-On Home, said it best,
"So instead of waiting for someone else𐆑someone bigger and more powerful and more important𐆑to tackle environmental, economic, or health issues at the painfully partisan macro level, we are using the power of our purse and our decision-making at the super-micro level to advocate for our values. We may not be able to directly influence national farm policies, but we sure as hell can influence the success of one particular small farmer or dairyman with our support."
I love this quote. We have the power to chose what goes into our bodies and where we get it from. I'm not going to get into food politics, but just think about it. Instead of supporting large corporations that care nothing about our health, we can take our money elsewhere, support an individual family who is also a part of the same community we are, all while feeling good about our food choices.
I only touched on a few reasons as to why supporting your local farmer is important, but I encourage you to find a local farmer's market near you. If you're already worried about what you're gonna wear (farmer's markets are always more fun when you look cute am I right?) grab yourself this tee from Magnolia Roots and you will be set! I hope this has inspired you to break out the straw hats and hit the market. Until next time, friends!