“Farmers markets are more expensive” is something I hear quite often. And it’s true that if you go and buy the pesto and the fancy cheese and the high-end meat, you’re right. It can get really expensive.
But if you focus, and you buy your vegetables at the market, you can save money, and more importantly, you can vote with your dollars.
Why buy at the farmers market?
- Know your farmer, know your food. You can ask questions of a farmer that you cannot ask the produce guy at your local chain grocery store.
- No farms, no food. If you don’t support local farmers, who will? If their land is more valuable as real estate than farm, how will they survive? If we don’t buy local produce, then other countries will be supplying our produce, and if you don’t know the taste difference between a local strawberry and one from Chile, you’re really missing out.
- Most importantly, local, in-season produce is actually cheaper at the farmers market than the grocery store. That is a surprise to many people, because the idea that farmers markets are for the élite is a myth that keeps getting repeated.
I believe that voting is something we do every day, and every time I choose to spend my hard-earned dollars locally, I am saying, albeit softly, “this matters to me.”
Furthermore, I believe that meat should be more expensive than the food it eats, and if it isn’t, I’m wary of its safety. And that processed food (that is, food that comes in boxes and cans) is subsidized by the government to stay cheap in order for us to eat more of it, and that’s wrong.
If you go for the 99 cent pop tarts, you’re the one who loses in the end.
That is why I buy my produce at the market.
Also, it’s delicious. And I work in the local foods movement, so this rant is a bit biased. :)