By Maia Scott
Maia Scott, one of our AMP volunteers, reflects on her experiences with local farmer’s markets.
“When people think about buying food, the first place that usually comes to mind is the local grocery store. While grocery stores are great, and extremely convenient, I believe that farmers’ markets are the best places to get fresh produce. These markets are actually more common than you think, usually occurring on weekend mornings.
The reason farmers’ markets are the best option for buying food items, like fruits and vegetables, is because they come fresh from local farms. Produce in the grocery store can come from large industrial farms, which may use harsh chemicals and genetic engineering. At farmers’ markets, small local farmers are selling greater varieties of seasonal produce, thus limiting the travel time of your food and preserving genetic diversity. Additionally, many small farmers use organic practices or avoid growing genetically modified crops. You can speak directly to farmers to ask them about their farming practices. This leaves no mystery as to where or how the food was grown.
Some might argue that farmers’ markets are too expensive, but it is definitely worth the cost. When my mom and I go, we usually spend a lot more money than at our normal grocery store. However, the food from the farmers’ market is much tastier. Chicken is juicier, strawberries are sweeter, even the flowers smell nicer. The food sold is fresh, and has better flavor because it is grown using simpler farming techniques; more similar to the ones our ancestors used. The fruits and vegetables might not be a consistent size or shape, but that only means they were grown according to how nature intended, not the commercial farmers. I find reassurance in this because I know the food going into my body is simple and pure.
If you are ever free one weekend and hear that your local farmers’ market is selling, I highly suggest you go. The food you can buy there is unlike anything you’ve bought before.”
Image source: Gemma Billings