Buying Local — What It Means to You

Those of you who are inveterate farmers’ market shoppers have no doubt been reading about the “importance” of buying local — for the regional economy, for your safety, and for the environment. For more on these reasons for buying local, visit Foodroutes.org.

But I would like to remind you why buying local is good for you and your family. Buying local at a farmers’ market means that you are buying fruits and vegetables that were picked the day before you buy them — which means that if you take care of them when you get home you will be able to eat every bit of what you bought. (And don’t get me started on the latest folly by the grocery chains — wetting down vegetables throughout the day leads to spoilage — which you can often see on the produce while it is still in the store!) With asparagus, there is very little waste; it is good to eat almost to the bottom of the stalk — and no need ever to peel woody stems. You are not going to find rotten or shriveled berries in the bottom of the box — and all of them will be ripe. No matter what you buy you will be able to enjoy more of it at your table — less waste means more value.

Other benefits include more flavor, more nutrients, less pesticides and fungicides and produce that lasts through the week, cutting down on those precious trips to any market. We ask you to consider these things when you compare prices: farmers’ market produce may look more expensive than store bought; but considering these truths won’t make it free but will hopefully convince you that it is a good deal.