Reason #1: Eating local is eating healthy
The nutrient density of produce begins to decline the minute it is harvested. So let’s do the math. Our farmers usually pick their produce on Fridays before the market on Saturdays and then travel an average of about 50 miles to Farmington. That means those fruits and veggies have lost very little nutrition by the time they hit the market tables.
But all over North America – and not just in the off-season – fruits and vegetables are in transit for an average of five days, traveling to local grocery stores for up to 6,000 miles from places such as Mexico and Chile. Just take a look at the label on that plastic box of berries to see how far they’ve come. Oh, and the transportation involved doesn’t do much good for the environment, either.
Once delivered to stores, that produce sits around for 3-4 days before it is bought. That means that, by the time you eat them, your fruits and veggies may have lost half their nutrient density. Advantage: farmers markets.
Reason #2: You can learn about what you’re eating
Buying directly from market farmers gives you the chance to learn about your food. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about how that lettuce was grown – our farmers love to talk about the organic methods they use and the results they get. The more you learn about what you eat, the healthier choices you can make.
Reason #3: Food tastes better when it’s fresh
This is a no-brainer and can be proven on every trip to our market. Ask to sample a blackberry or green bean. We bet they’ve never tasted so good. Or take home a freshly picked tomato to savor, and you’ll wonder where those red orbs that are sold in grocery stores really come from. Just like nutrient density, food flavors degrade over time. Bottom line: Buy fresh to eat fresh and truly taste all the nuances of your food.
Reason #4: You’re supporting the local economy
At most farmers markets, including Farmington, you’ll find back-to-basics commerce. The money you pay for every peach and pea goes back into those small, local businesses known as farms instead of to large corporations. And you might also be shopping the surrounding downtown businesses, pumping more money into the local economy.
Reason #5: Farmers markets build community
For many people, this might be the most important reason to shop at farmers markets. Farmington’s market, like many others in metro areas, brings together people of different races, classes, ages and lifestyles. And that’s a good thing. You’ll have more opportunities to get to know the people of your city while gathering shopping and cooking tips along the way. In the end, it’s all food for the soul.