Why I Shop Local

Monday, June 19, 2017

This past Saturday was the opening day of my local farmer's market and I was super excited to wake up early and attend. Throughout winter, when it's more difficult to shop local farms - I long for the farmer's market. You can buy just about everything you need from the vendors: bread, cheese, vegetables, and even fresh pasta. After shopping at the market for a few summers now, I've come to realize that it's really important to support your local farmers and merchants. So this is why I shop local (when I can).

1. You support a local family
It feels really great knowing that when you hand money over to a farmer, it's going directly to the family and the farm. I've spoken with some vendors and they tell me how they use their farm earnings to send their children to extracurriculars, provide jobs, or simply pay their bills and I think that's wonderful. Farmer's work incredibly hard and the season is so short - so I'd much rather spend my money there than a multi-billion dollar company with little integrity.

2. You know where the food is coming from.
A huge plus for me is knowing that I'm getting food which is naturally in season and it didn't travel far to get here. In the winter, a lot of food is imported from all over the world - but a lot of the time the food is not in season and the quality is just not the same. Also transporting food from other places is not the best for our environment and invasive species sometimes make their way into the transport and disrupt ecosystems.

3. You waste less food
This is another big one for me. Since you have to use cash at the market, you tend to be more aware of how much money you are spending on food. For many of us when we grocery shop; we are focused on getting anything and everything, swiping our card and going home. I sometimes even forget what I bought or question how I spent so much on seemingly so little. I also end up throwing things away because I didn't realize it was in the fridge and it spoiled. 
At the market, because there aren't as many 'things' around, I go in with a plan of what I'd like to eat for the week and buy accordingly. Plus it's hard to carry a lot of things around at a market - so that's also a great incentive!

4. It's better for you
Combining the last two points, shopping local is better for you. Not only are you outside and getting some movement in your food isn't riddled with pesticides, preservatives, and growth hormones. Strawberries aren't the size of your palm, cheese is fresher and you will notice that the food won't keep as long. This is not a bad thing - in fact it's great! 

Do you shop local? 

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1 comment

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